July 15, 2020

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Misericordia urgent care clinic will be closed overnight starting July 5

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The Misericordia Health Centre's Urgent Care clinic will stop accepting patients at 8 p.m.</p>

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Misericordia Health Centre's Urgent Care clinic will stop accepting patients at 8 p.m.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/6/2017 (1117 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Misericordia Health Centre's urgent care clinic will begin closing overnight as of July 5 in the lead-up to it shutting down in the fall.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority made the announcement Friday, saying the clinic will stop accepting patients at 8 p.m. and will begin accepting them again at 7:30 a.m. Overnight, a nurse will care for patients already in the clinic and redirect others as necessary.

"We have no concerns about being able to accommodate that patient volume in any other of our emergency departments," WRHA chief medical officer Dr. Brock Wright said.

The clinic averages one patient per hour overnight and sees a little more than 100 patients per day, WRHA figures show.

Wright said the number of patients arriving at Misericordia’s urgent care dropped by 12 per cent in the month after the province announced a massive reorganization of health care in Winnipeg.

"From a system perspective, that’s a very small number of patients," Wright said.

The announcement comes weeks after the NDP obtained and released a memo sent to Misericordia staff by the health centre’s chief medical officer linking possible overnight closures with low staffing levels resulting from the Tory government’s reorganization of heath care.

At the time, the WRHA’s vice-president of interprofessional practice, Lori Lamont, denied a link between summer staffing shortages and the planned urgent care closure. But on Friday, Wright said "staff movement" as a result of the reorganization is partly to blame.

"It can be challenging in those situations to retain staff," he said. "When we introduce a change to the system, we try to avoid reducing services… but we know that sometimes that’s necessary."

Misericordia typically has five nurses during the day, six during the evening and four overnight. Only one nurse will work overnights as of July 5, Wright said, while the rest of the evening and overnight nurses will be redeployed during daytime hours.

In response to a question about whether other health facilities would face similar closures earlier than expected, Wright said the WRHA isn’t in a position to "make any guarantees."

"If we’re going to consolidate services as we’ve done many times in the past… it’s always a bit of a challenge to maintain that service fully right up until the changes are supposed to occur," he said. "We’ll do whatever is the right thing for patient care."

NDP health critic Matt Wiebe immediately latched on to other possible service disruptions in a statement sent out Friday.

"Today it was revealed that there may be other closures much earlier than anticipated because this government rushed these changes," he said.

"We are now seeing the consequences of the disruption and disorganization caused for front-line workers... (Premier Brian) Pallister and his ministers can no longer deny or evade the fact that their irresponsible and ill-conceived plan is having an impact on access to patient care for thousands of Manitobans."

jane.gerster@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @Jane_Gerster

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