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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
October 4, 2017

Misericordia Urgent Care Cenre

Monday was a sad day for health care in Manitoba as the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre closed its doors, the closing this centre which served 40,000 Manitobans each year, leaves people with urgent health needs saddened, angry and confused about where to access health care.

Many Manitobans will no longer have an accessible location to go for urgent care. Many of Misericordia's patients come from downtown, Point Douglas, Wolseley, the West End, Fort Garry, Riverview, Fort Rouge and River Heights, many by bus and others often on foot. Health‑care professionals are concerned that families who do not have access to a vehicle and cannot afford an ambulance either may not seek the care they need or may simply find their way to busy emergency rooms at Health Sciences Centre or St. Boniface Hospital.

The Misericordia responded to 4,500 eye‑care emergencies last year at their eye‑care facility. Doctors at the Misericordia have written an open letter, saying the closure puts the future of eye‑care services at dire risk.

Closing the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre is just one of many unwise decisions made by this government. However, it is one of the worst because of the impact on vulnerable Manitobans.

There was no evidence to recommend this decision. Medical officials at Misericordia were never consulted about how the closure will impact their ability to provide quality care. The Misericordia Sisters stated the act of closing the urgent care centre is unconscionable and will hurt low‑income earners. We could not agree more.

The closure of Misericordia urgent care is part of the ongoing chaos in our health‑care system, irresponsible health‑care changes being forced on the system and families by a government who doesn't care about patients. Changes to Manitoba health care should not cut the quality and accessibility of medical care for Manitobans.

Our NDP caucus calls on the provincial government to reverse the decision to close the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre and restore timely access to quality patient care.

Thank you.