In what CUPE 204 is describing as deeply “disrespectful”, the WRHA announced today that they will be fast-tracking the conversion of the Concordia Hospital Emergency Room to an Urgent Care Centre on Monday.
The announcement was made today at a staff meeting with unions at Seven Oaks General Hospital and Concordia Hospital during a community-led protest to save the Seven Oaks Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit.
“This government has been deeply disrespectful to all the patients and front-line health care workers who rely on Concordia and Seven Oaks Hospitals,” said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE 204, the Union representing 465 health care workers at Concordia Hospital and 600 at Seven Oaks General Hospital. “We have raised serious concerns with the WRHA about staffing at Concordia, and now they are rushing to close the ER without having a single conversation with staff.”
The Concordia ER was slated to be converted to an Urgent Care Centre in an announcement made on May 16, but community members have raised concerns that closing the Seven Oaks and Concordia ERs would leave the entire north-east section of Winnipeg without access to Emergency Room services.
Today’s announcement was sprung on health care workers with no notice.
“People’s jobs and livelihoods are at stake, yet the WRHA is making rushed decisions with zero notice to the community,” said Boissonneault. “They are closing hospital beds, shuffling health care staff like pawns, and doing it without consultation with stakeholders.”
CUPE 204 has consistently condemned the provincial government’s attacks on health care.
“I am extremely concerned for the health of the community, and equally concerned for the morale of our health care staff system-wide.”