WRHA CEO says Winnipeg’s emergency department wait times are “concerning” – Winnipeg

A memo sent to staff in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Friday outlines the dire situation in Winnipeg’s emergency and urgent care departments and the factors that drive wait times higher.

“There are a number of reasons for this, but together they have resulted in a significant increase in wait times over the past few months,” WRHA CEO Mike Nader said in a press conference Monday afternoon. .

Around 1 p.m. Monday, the shortest wait time in the city was five hours at Children’s Hospital Medical Science Center, while the longest was more than seven hours at St. Boniface.

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Many of the factors driving the wait times noted in the memo were driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, including higher-than-normal levels of COVID-19 positive patients, patients who avoid seeking seeking care earlier during a pandemic that now requires more and longer medical care, patients stay longer while they wait for the results of COVID-19 testing and how long staff are sick reached the highest level in history.

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Nader was asked during the press conference whether stricter restrictions on COVID-19, such as mask regulations and vaccine requirements, could help ease the pressure on the healthcare system. healthy or not.

“I think the challenges are multifaceted, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to solve that,” Nader said. “We know that the latest variant is pretty contagious, but I think the work that we’re doing with our care teams around transition and the chance to find a solution is how we go about it. will get rid of this. No one can fix this.”

The memo also details potential solutions the health agency is working towards, including changing emergency procedures to redirect less-severe patients to urgent care rather than emergency care. began testing new patients for COVID-19 in emergency and urgent care departments, and improved virtual outpatient programming and regional transfer protocols.

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“The process is really about facilitating or delivering care, so when we have emergency rooms or urgent care that may not be as busy as others, the paramedics will assess the patient they are picking up and they will guide them to the most appropriate way. Nader explained.

“So what we’re doing there is distributing care needs across our urgent care facilities and emergency rooms.”

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When asked what the province was doing to address the increasing wait times of its emergency department, Health Secretary Audrey Gordon delayed with the WRHA CEO.

“I hope it gets resolved soon,” Gordon said.

“One of the things I’m doing is insisting that they fix it. So they look at the different options available, for which they are talking to staff in emergency departments. Sometimes, as we say, the best ideas come from the hospital floor.”

Opposition leader Wab Kinew says the waiting time issue is nothing new.

“The PCs created the crisis in our emergency rooms, and now they want us to believe they’ll fix it,” Kinew told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“They are still driven by the same thing that caused them to create this crisis in the first place, which is that they are putting money ahead of care and they are reducing the number of beds across the system. Again, we’ve seen problems in emergency departments before the pandemic, systems that were already in crisis before COVID hit. ”

A disappointing share of the president of the Association of Manitoba Healthcare Professionals.

“It’s frustrating because we’ve been talking about this for years, it continues to be a really fundamental staffing issue,” said Manitoba Association of Healthcare Professionals President Bob Moroz. Global News, at the same time, adds that staffing problems are pervasive in all areas of healthcare, and not just with doctors and nurses.

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He added: “The government has completely turned a blind eye to what we have been saying for years. “I also continue to be disappointed that they are to blame for the pandemic. The pandemic is showing where the payroll problem is, but it’s not responsible for the payroll problem. We have weathered this crisis for many years. “

The Manitoba Nurses Union also says increased wait times often lead to patient frustration.

“If there is a patient frustration or anger, it is the nursing staff who are bearing the brunt of it,” said MNU president Darlene Jackson.

Jackson said the leaked WRHA memo was disappointing.

“We’re a bit tired of everything being blamed on COVID, on the pandemic,” she said.

“We have a severe nursing shortage and we have been anticipating this nursing shortage for many years.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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