NDP Condemns Closure of St. Boniface Family Medical Centre

March 4, 2019

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew condemned the Pallister government’s decision to close the St. Boniface Family Medical Centre, a clinic which has provided quality primary care for the St. Boniface community for the last four decades.

“This is yet another short sighted cut from the Pallister government. The Family Medical Centre provided the kind of prevention-focused, primary health care that keeps people out emergency rooms and in their community,” said Kinew. “More than 3,000 patients are in limbo because Brian Pallister cares more about cutting costs than keeping families healthy.”

The Centre, located across the street from the St. Boniface Hospital on Tache, is one of the longest-running teaching facilities in Canada for family medicine. It is staffed by doctors and medical residents as well as nurses, a psychiatrist, dietitian, social worker and a pastoral care counselor. According to the WRHA the Centre sees 17,000 outpatient visits a year.

Kinew noted the current increase in emergency wait times at St. Boniface Hospital will likely be made worse by the Centre’s closure. Last week the WRHA reported that wait times at St. Boniface jumped from 2.10 hours in December to 2.18 hours in January. The WRHA was also forced to open over-capacity beds at St. Boniface hospital this month to accommodate the influx of patients.

The Centre offers health care in French, a service that is key for many St. Boniface families and seniors. The Pallister government has previously closed all but one QuickCare Clinic in Winnipeg, including the St. Boniface location, a primary care clinic on Corydon Avenue and cancelled plans for a new clinic in St. Vital.