Let’s start fixing the emergency room crisis


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/09/2022 (247 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

We can all agree that Manitoba’s emergency rooms are in crisis. Whether you have experienced this first-hand or heard stories from family and friends, we know that changes need to happen and they need to happen now.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with two women whose families have been affected by this crisis. Sandy rushed her husband, who was suffering from extremely painful post-surgery complications, to the Grace hospital only to be told there was no doctor in the ER. It took hours for him to get the care he needed. I also met Danielle, a hardworking mom who drove her elderly mother with a head trauma from a fall to the Grace Hospital, where she waited for 13 hours without being seen.

What Sandy and Danielle went through is not okay — and they’re not alone. We know that thousands of patients are leaving Winnipeg ERs without ever being seen. We need to do better than this. Families and seniors need health care close to home that they can rely on. No one should be worried they won’t get the care they need when they enter a hospital. But the Progressive Conservative government continues to ignore the health care needs of Manitobans in Fort Rouge and beyond.

This past June, Premier Heather Stefanson claimed that the government never cut health care. But ask any health-care worker or patient and you’ll hear a different story. Before the pandemic, the PC government cut funding, cut intensive-care unit bed and closed emergency rooms. Now, more than two years into the worst health crisis our province has faced in decades, they have failed to give back to Manitobans the health care you deserve. ER wait times are too long. Too many nurses have left because of horrible treatment by the PC government. Doctors and nurses are reporting that patients are sharing beds and waiting multiple days to receive care. I know we have no time to lose.

The solution is simple. We need to start treating front-line workers with respect. We need to hire more nurses to replace the ones who left. And we need to reinvest in our health-care system to make sure you get the care you deserve. It will take years to fix the damage the PCs have caused with their cuts but we can start now.

If you have a story about your experience in a Manitoba emergency room we want to hear from you. Contact our office by calling 204-615-1922 or emailing me at

Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew
Fort Rouge constituency report

Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.

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