New urology centre to open next year
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A new urology centre, slated to open next March in the former women’s hospital on the HSC campus, got a $1-million boost Friday.
The centre will improve treatment for patients with bladder, kidney and prostate issues, 10,000 of whom are seen by urologists in Winnipeg annually.
Exchange Income Corp., a Winnipeg-headquartered acquisitions company, made the donation.
HSC Foundation president Jonathan Lyon said patients from northern, rural and remote areas often have to make many trips to Winnipeg for urological care.
“It’s disruptive. It’s stressful. It’s expensive, and it’s simply unacceptable,” Lyon said.
The centre will perform kidney stone removals, trans-urethral resection of the prostate, and certain bladder cancer treatments. Some of those treatments are currently done in HSC’s regular operating rooms, which have longer wait times.
Dr. Manon Pelletier said the centre will allow patients be assessed and treated within days, rather than over many months.
New equipment, Pelletier said, will help urologists remove kidney stones in less invasive ways, through the skin, rather than going through the urinary tract, which requires the procedure be done in an operating room.
The current wait time for a trans-urethral resection of the prostate — the removal of the prostate through the penis — is a year.
“The most common pathway now is, let’s say someone presents to the emergency department because they cannot pee. We discover that their bladder has a litre in it, because their prostate’s enlarged. We put a catheter in, we send them home. They wait, sometimes a few months, to see the urologist,” Pelletier said.
“The urologist will assess them and say, you need a (trans-urethral resection of the prostate), book them for (it), which could then be many more months.
“From a northern community, that’s a trip down, another trip down, and then another trip down. Now with this, the goal would be they get seen, stay, immediately get seen and potentially have (the procedure) and go back home, all within a few days.”
Garrison Settee, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which advocates for northern First Nations, said the centre will give northern citizens better access to health care.
“Reducing wait times for diagnostics and treatment is very important in improving health outcomes for First Nations citizens,” said Settee.
The centre, at 735 Notre Dame Ave., was announced in early 2022.
Lyon said the initial budget was $8.4 million, and the foundation has raised about $9.4 million.
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.