You may have heard the big news yesterday: Winnipeg’s Health Care system is getting its biggest revamp in a generation. Half of the city’s current Emergency Rooms are closing in order to streamline services and shorten wait times according to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
Wait times were getting so bad in Winnipeg ERs that almost 10% of patients admitted in 2012-2013 ended up leaving before ever getting to see a doctor.
So what does this mean to you if you find yourself in need of medical attention?
Well if it’s really serious, like life-threatening, you can still go to an ER at Health Sciences Centre (central), St. Boniface (also pretty central) or The Grace Hospital (west).
The emergency departments at Victoria (south) and Seven Oaks (north) will be converted to 24/7 urgent care centres where you can go for basically any other kind of non-life-threatening injuries or ailments.
The Misericordia Health Centre’s (central) 24-hour urgent care centre will be closed and converted to a community intravenous therapy clinic. Strangely nothing was said about Concordia Hospital (east) other than they will take on more orthopedic surgeries and continue to do hip and knee replacements.
If there’s a silver lining here it’s that as part of the transition, Victoria Hospital will add 50 beds for mental health services, which are badly needed in Winnipeg right now.
The conversion of Seven Oaks and Victoria to urgent care centres is expected to begin in the fall while the other initiatives will take place in the coming years.
Now you know.