February 28, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB— Just two weeks after nurses at St. Boniface Hospital’s emergency room revealed a vacancy “crisis” in a public letter, the WRHA reported overall wait times across the city increased dramatically from January 2019 to January 2020.
According to the WRHA, nine out of ten patients are waiting 14% longer across the region. Wait times at St. Boniface Hospital had the most dramatic increase of 29%, up from 4.97 in January 2019 to 6.42 last month. The increase underscores what the Hospital’s ER nurses described in their letter—that vacancy management and funding cuts have created an environment of chaos and put patients at risk. The remaining emergency rooms, Health Sciences Centre, Children’s Hospital and the Grace Hospital have also seen increases both year over year and month over month.
Kinew pointed to Brian Pallister’s failing health care plan, and his decision to close emergency rooms, as as the reason ER wait times have risen for the last two years.
“Brian Pallister’s cuts to health care mean the sickest patients are waiting longer and health care workers are in chaos,” said Kinew. “Rather than admit his plan has failed he is charging ahead with the second phase—this time cuts and closures to rural communities. It’s time to put the brake on cuts, get a handle on staffing so that hospitals have the resources they need to care for patients, then invest in prevention so families can stay healthy at home longer.”