MANITOBA VOTES: NDP pledge to re-open closed ERs | Winnipeg Sun

The Manitoba NDP would spend $8 million per year to re-open two Winnipeg emergency rooms and at least $1.5 million more to increase the city’s number of acute care beds, if elected to form government on Sept. 10.

NDP leader Wab Kinew said he’ll consult with front-line workers before setting an exact timeline to re-open the ERs at Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals, but expects the changes would occur within an NDP government’s first term of office.

“Right now, all the emergency rooms and urgent-care centres, because of (Premier Brian) Pallister’s cuts, are over capacity,” said Kinew.

Kinew said an NDP government would also add five acute care beds in its first year, while the ER re-openings would add another 111 beds.

“We’re straining the limits of the nurses and the ER docs, so we have to get this situation under control,” he said.


NDP leader Wab Kinew speaks with Pat Waldron after a press conference on Moncton Avenue near the Concordia Hospital on Monday. Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network

Kevin King /

Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun

The Progressive Conservative government began consolidating health-care services in April 2017, which has since led three Winnipeg emergency rooms to close. The Tories expect the overhaul to shorten wait times, by grouping specialized equipment and staff at fewer sites with the patients who need them.

The NDP say its too late to re-open the Victoria General Hospital ER, which closed in October 2017, since that site has already undergone renovations. The Concordia ER closed in June and Seven Oaks emergency department closed in July, however, making them easier to re-open, said Kinew.

But a PC spokesperson argues that reinstating ERs would not guarantee better care. The spokesperson said median wait times at Victoria General Hospital have fallen 28% since its ER was replaced with an urgent care centre, dropping from 2.27 hours at the ER in October 2017 to 1.63 hours at the urgent care centre in July 2019.

“There is every expectation that Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals will see similar successes in the months ahead,” the spokesperson wrote.

jpursaga@postmedia.com

Twitter: @pursagawpgsun

This content was originally published here.

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