MNU President Darlene Jackson Responds to Concordia Urgent Care Announcement

Publish date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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Today, MNU President Darlene Jackson issued the following statement in response to the WRHA & Pallister government's announcement that the Concordia Emergency Department will be converted to urgent care as of June 3, 2019:

"Manitoba's nurses are extremely frustrated and disappointed by today's announcement. MNU has not received any explanation about how staffing changes at Concordia can work with such little notice. We condemn this decision to rush through this without adequate consultation with nurses.

Let us be clear: This is a rushed decision and is a reckless attempt to repair a broken plan. It's abundantly clear that the Pallister government has no idea what to do about a mess of their own creation. We are also concerned about how they plan on addressing nursing vacancies at the remaining ERs, which were depending on nurses transferring from Concordia to alleviate workload and overtime. This latest decision lacked so many details it could have been prepared on the back of a napkin. 

The Pallister government has finally acknowledged it has created an unsafe situation at the facility for patients and nurses, but changing it to urgent care won't address the key issues. It will reduce the ability of nurses to treat high-acuity patients, which we expect will continue to present due to widespread confusion about where to go for emergency care, and due to capacity issues at other facilities. Even the Health Minister admits they don't know the difference yet between sub-acute and acute patients, and this raises serious questions about their entire plan to close ERs.

Last Thursday, MNU representatives met with senior WRHA and Shared Health representatives. They had no information about the details of this plan, other than to confirm it would happen by the end of June. It was apparent they were waiting for direction from the Health Minister. We presumed they would consult nurses before making any further decisions regarding the timeline; instead they have decided to rush through without more information made available to nurses and other care providers. 

Most Concordia ER nurses have already selected new positions and expect to transfer to other Emergency Departments, or to a different program at Concordia. Changing the plan yet again creates massive human resources challenges, and nurses are left scrambling and guessing about the future of the facility."


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