ER Wait Times Rise Under Pallister’s Failing Health Plan

Winnipeg, MB—NDP Leader Wab Kinew pointed to Brian Pallister’s failing health care plan, which includes closing emergency rooms and cutting front line staff, as the reason ER wait times continue to rise rapidly across Winnipeg.

The WRHA’s latest monthly report on ER wait times were made public on the same day a Canadian Institute for Public Health Information report revealed a decline in the number of nurses working in Manitoba.

“Under Brian Pallister, families are waiting longer at fewer emergency rooms to get the care they need,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “And this is only the tip of the iceberg—the St. Boniface ER has had to turn away patients over a 24-hour period twice in the last month. There is an unprecedented crisis in our health care system and rather than fix it, Pallister is continuing to close emergency rooms. We need to restore our emergency rooms and ensure our system can give patients the care they need when they need it.”

The WRHA posted median wait times at Winnipeg’s emergency rooms in the month of May. Waits were up to 2.00 hours, a 38 minute increase since the Pallister government kicked off their health care plan by closing the Misericordia Urgent Care and closing the ER at Victoria General Hospital in October of 2017. The Pallister government closed the Concordia ER in early June.

Wait times increased the most at the remaining emergency rooms— Seven Oaks, St. Boniface, HSC and Grace.

The longest wait time for nine out of ten patients jumped from 4.3 hours in May last year to 5.18 hours in May 2019.