Pallister Government’s Plan to Shut Winnipeg Emergency Rooms Will Undermine Patient Care; a Broken Promise

The NDP condemns the Pallister government’s plan to shut down emergency rooms in Winnipeg – a move that will undermine patient care across Winnipeg, Health Critic Matt Wiebe said.

“The Pallister government introduced a plan today that will force more patients to use fewer emergency rooms without adding more resources to those surviving hospitals,” Wiebe said. “Cutting emergency rooms does not help families get the care they need when they need it.”

The government’s plan leaves families in many parts of Winnipeg with no emergency care in their communities and no nearby medical services when they need it, Wiebe noted. Nor does the plan include any increase in personal care homes or home care for elderly patients, he added.

"This plan is woefully short on details. It doesn’t say how they would deal with increased demand in existing hospitals; they have no idea how much it will cost; it doesn’t say how many frontline health-care workers will lose their jobs,” Wiebe said. “This is plan is a disaster for patients and it breaks the premier’s campaign promise to protect frontline health-care services.”

Winnipeg has one of the fastest population growth rates in Canada, Wiebe noted. The Pallister plan fails to meet the demands of growing populations across whole swaths of the north and south of Winnipeg.

“The plan announced today undermines access to our health-care system,” Wiebe said. “What we didn’t hear was how this plan would help patient care or how it would reduce wait times in emergency rooms.”