When Abigail Schellenberg made the decision to seek treatment at St. Hospital. Boniface After injuring her left ankle, she did so expecting a long time, but it got worse.
“I started to feel forgotten. I pressed the call button in my room and a nurse wouldn’t come within 30 minutes,” she told Global News on Friday.
Schellenberg says that 30 minutes on Wednesday night eventually turned into 18 hours.
She called the hospital’s patient relations department on Thursday morning. She was told she wouldn’t have to wait long if she chose to be treated at an urgent care center. It was a very different tone from what Schellenberg experienced during her marathon in the emergency department in St. Boniface.
“At no point did they tell me to go to urgent care. I told them a few times that the pain was still there and it was shooting up my leg.”
In 2017, half of Winnipeg’s ERs were shut down as part of a major provincial overhaul to help reduce wait times. That means converting some of them into urgent care centers for less serious health concerns.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon said the province intends to reintroduce an advertising campaign aimed at educating people about where to go for treatment.
“We really felt it was necessary, considering the number of individuals that are present in our emergency departments to provide that platform of communication. So that will be announced soon,” Gordon told reporters Friday morning.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority would not comment on Schulenberg’s case, but they are aware that wait times have been higher than usual.
“We empathize with anyone who is experiencing longer than usual wait times while seeking treatment. We are all doing our best, especially our frontline workers, to make sure everyone is seen as quickly as possible,” a WRHA spokesperson said in a statement to Global News. .
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