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April 8, 2020

Winnipeg
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Lab closures are cause for concern

The older woman waiting in the Dynacare lab in West Kildonan for tests seemed frustrated and was raising her voice.

She was perhaps hard of hearing, so the woman behind the desk was forced to almost yell, asking if she had her papers. The older woman thought she was there for an X-ray.

She said she had been waiting about an hour. The receptionist was able to go across the hall, to the clinic where the older woman’s doctor was, and find out an X-ray wasn’t required.

The older woman had just managed to make it across the hall with her walker into the lab. I can’t imagine how she and others like her will cope once this lab is closed.

It certainly is going to be harder for people in West Kildonan and North Winnipeg to get their blood tests done.

I just happened to be at a lab in West Kildonan recently for blood tests. The lab workers there are great and know how to draw blood painlessly and quickly.

The lab has been here for many, many years. So I was a bit stunned when the girl who did my blood test told me that the lab would be closing.

When I got over the initial shock I said "Well, I guess I can try going to the lab on Main and Hartford."

But no, she said, that lab is closing too.

Then I was told that the lab on Leila Avenue would be closing and also the lab on Court Avenue. Still shocked, I realized there would be no labs left in the area.

I asked why they were closing and was told that a new, larger lab was going to open in Garden City, probably in December. The girl who told me this was sad. So was I.

But I think it will be much worse for older people, those who are ill and especially people whose doctors are located in the buildings where the labs are situated. I fear they may struggle to get their blood work done.

The population is getting older and many of these people will have to make two trips and travel farther to a larger, more crowded lab.

Various news sources have stated that 26 of the 53 diagnostic labs that Dynacare operates in or near Winnipeg are to be consolidated into four "supersites." News sources also report that Dynacare acquired Winnipeg’s Unicity labs in 2017, gaining 21 sites closing in the changeover.

Cheryl Girard is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. You can contact her at girard.cheryl@gmail.com

Cheryl Girard

Cheryl Girard
West Kildonan community correspondent

Cheryl Girard is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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