PC Cuts Mean Highway Medicine for Rural Seniors

October 26, 2021

Treaty 2 and Treaty 4 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Roblin MB— Today Wab Kinew met with Ray and Karen Millar, seniors from the Roblin area, who were turned away from their local hospital because of PC cuts.

“What happened to the Millar’s is a direct result of the PCs cutting emergency care in rural hospitals,” said Kinew. Rural families deserve around-the-clock healthcare in their home communities. Investing in rural healthcare means investing in families, communities and good jobs.”

On September 21st Ray Millar drove his wife Karen, who was having a cardiac emergency, to the Roblin ER. When they arrived, they found the doors locked and a voice on the intercom told them to drive to Russell or Grandview hospital – a 40-minute drive away. The Millars, in a panic, chose instead to drive toward Yorkton, Saskatchewan and once within cell service called 911. An ambulance from Yorkton met them on the highway and took Karen to the hospital. From the time the Millars left their home, it took 90 minutes for Karen to be admitted to a hospital.

In September 2020, the PCs closed the Roblin ER without consulting the surrounding communities. In response, NDP Leader Wab Kinew held a rally in Roblin attended by hundreds of families. The community continued to fight back, eventually forcing the PCs to reopen the ER in December 2020.

“We moved to Roblin in part because there was a hospital that could meet our healthcare needs,” said Ray Millar. “That’s why we were so shocked to be turned away and told to drive 40 minutes down the highway during an emergency. The province has an obligation to maintain emergency care in communities like ours. We love our life here and we don’t want to leave but the province needs to keep our hospital open so it can serve the community and keep everyone here safe.”