Vacancy Rates Spike at St Boniface ER, Wait Times Continue to Increase

Pallister’s Health Care Chaos Continues

Winnipeg, MB—In the first Question Period of the new Legislature, NDP Leader Wab Kinew questioned the Premier on rising vacancy rates and wait times at emergency departments across Winnipeg.

“Patients and nurses suffer when too many positions are empty; and under Brian Pallister vacancy rates have spiked,” said Kinew. “Wait times at emergency rooms have increased because there are less care providers working in the system. Nurses are burning out working forced overtime shifts and it’s putting patients at risk. Brian Pallister’s obsession with the bottom line has created a crisis in our health care system.”

During Committee of Supply yesterday, the Health Minister reported a 25.8% overall vacancy rate at St. Boniface emergency department. A FIPPA document obtained by the Manitoba NDP show last year’s total vacancy rate at St. Boniface ER was 21.9%.

The Health Minister also reported a 16.4% overall vacancy rate at the Grace Hospital, a 9% overall vacancy rate at Health Sciences Centre and a 15% overall vacancy rate at Victoria General Hospital.

In August of 2019, the WRHA reported 1,350 active vacant nurse positions (about 17.7%) across the region, which was up 15% from the previous year’s levels. At the time, the WRHA claimed more nurses were working in the system than before, but the Manitoba Nurses Union said this is likely due to more nurses working part-time after the Pallister government deleted thousands of positions.

Last week the WRHA reported that wait times at St. Boniface Hospital have increased month over month and year over year. In August 2019 the median wait time was 2.48 and the 90th percentile rate was 5.63.