A Snapshot of What’s Changing: Hospital Services & Non-Hospital Services

Misericordia Health Centre’s Urgent Care

How it’s changing: The urgent care closed at 8 p.m. on Monday night; it will be converted into a community intravenous-care clinic sometime in October. Despite the urgent care closure, Misericordia will continue to see urgent eye cases around the clock. New signage to direct people to the appropriate entrance is in the works.

What’s driving the change? This change is part of the WRHA’s consolidation plan. Although closing the Misericordia’s urgent care was not explicitly stated in Dr. David Peachey’s report, a spokeswoman says further analysis revealed the city “would be well served” by urgent care centres in the north and the south ends and that to keep the Misericordia’s centre would be an “unnecessary duplication of service.”


Victoria General Hospital’s Emergency Department:

How it’s changing: At 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the ER will become an urgent care centre. That means it will no longer treat more acute, life-threatening cases. Paramedics know to take patients elsewhere, but should someone walk in with a life-threatening case, frontline workers will stabilize them and then call for an ambulance transport to an ER.

What’s driving the change? In the Peachey report, released last February, he recommended the WRHA consolidate its ERs from six to three and, if the WRHA was inclined, to convert the ERs it no longer needed into urgent care centres.


❚ Clinical assessment units and critical care beds

How it’s changing: The clinical assessment unit at Health Sciences Centre will be expanded, while new clinical assessment units are being opened shortly at both St. Boniface and Grace hospitals. Two new critical care beds will also be made available Oct. 10 at Grace Hospital.

What’s driving the change? These changes are part of the region’s hospital consolidation plan and are meant to improve patient flow in a bid to help cut wait times.


St. Boniface ‘s emergency department:

How it’s changing: Eight new treatment spaces are being added to the mid-to-low acuity area of the ER effective Tuesday morning. In the longer term, the hospital is looking at a much more comprehensive, $3-million renovation to be completed in approximately two years. That would possibly include a helicopter landing pad.

What’s driving the change? The eight new spaces are part of the consolidation plan, meant to help with some of the extra patients who will be re-routed from Victoria General Hospital. Peachey’s report recommended expanding the three remaining ERs.


Rehabilitation and Geriatric Program:

How it’s changing: This 40-bed in-patient program at St. Boniface Hospital will be moved to Victoria General Hospital. The WRHA expects this transition to be completed by the beginning of November.

What’s driving the change? This is being driven by the WRHA’s consolidation plan, based on the Peachey report. The plan is to re-focus Victoria Hospital on elder friendly care.


Mature Women’s Centre:

How it’s changing: The centre at Victoria General Hospital was closed on Sept. 29 and patients are now being seen by their family practitioners. If they need a specialist, they will be referred to Health Sciences Centre.

What’s driving the change? This change was announced in July as part of the WRHA’s savings measures. The Authority expects to save $160,000 annually.



Transitional care:

How it’s changing: The WRHA is paying a private company, All Seniors Care, $9 million to operate 65 transitional care beds out of its retirement residence for two years starting this month. An additional 28 beds will open this month at Victoria General Hospital.

What’s driving the change? The WRHA says it needs the extra beds to help shift patients out of hospital and doesn’t have the capacity to provide the service on its own right now in the midst of the hospital consolidation.


Home care:

How it’s changing: Starting in November, the WRHA is spending $15.7 million over three years on a “mixed model” enhanced home care program. Of that money, $10.5 million is going to two private companies who will supply the necessary health-care aides and support workers (nurses and specialists will come from the WRHA). The program will handle 250 patients at a time and is meant to be an intensive intermediary for those who no longer need to be in the hospital, but aren’t ready to transition to standard home care.

What’s driving the change? The WRHA says this program is part of its consolidation, meant to help free up hospital beds.


Outpatient physiotherapy and occupational therapy:

How it’s changing: These services will be moved out of hospitals and into private practice sometime in mid-October. The only exceptions are specialized rehabilitation services at HSC and the Easy Street Program at Misericordia Health Centre. The WRHA says it will ensure accessibility at HSC for those who do not have private insurance.

What’s driving the change? This is a savings-driven decision.


Special needs behavioural unit:

How it’s changing: This program is being added to Deer Lodge Centre in early November.

What’s driving the change? This program addition is a result of the WRHA’s consolidation plan. (Source: WRHA, Winnipeg Free Press)