Troubling comments about closing Manitoba ERs raise red flags

“Will this mean paramedics will be driving longer distances to get their patients to hospital, further tying up ambulances for long stretches on the road? How does that help or improve patient care?” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (28 March 2017) — Media reports are once again showing how Premier Brian Pallister is moving away from his commitment to protect and invest in public services. The Premier has now publicly admitted that he won’t rule out closing emergency rooms in the province.

Concern grows in Manitoba after Premier confirms possibility of closing ERs, QuickCare clinics 

“Like most Manitobans, I was alarmed when the Premier said he was even considering closing emergency rooms,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “When my hometown ER was closed almost 5 years ago in Vita, it took away a sense of safety and security knowing help was just around the corner. Our community has never been the same and never will be.”

Pallister also confirmed he’s not ruling out layoffs of frontline public service workers at this time. News of this follows the closure of the St. Boniface Quick Care Clinic and the elimination of the Hospital Home Team Program. 

“Manitobans are right to be concerned with the comments coming from the Premier,” said Gawronsky.  “The fact is, ERs, QuickCare clinics and Hospital Home Teams provide valuable public health care services. Taking away access to those services will hurt Manitoba families and goes against what he promised Manitobans during the election.”

Closed health care facilities increase pressure for paramedics

Gawronksy also questioned what kind of additional pressures this would place on paramedics.

“Will this mean paramedics will be driving longer distances to get their patients to hospital, further tying up ambulances for long stretches on the road?  How does that help or improve patient care?” Gawronsky said. “I know from my own experience as a paramedic that seconds can make a difference when you’re trying to save a life.”


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE

 

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