‘We won’t go back’: Manitoba to proceed with Seven Oaks Hospital transition

A new report on Manitoba’s health care system says overall confidence and morale is declining among Winnipeg nurses.

The author of the report, hired by the province as a private consultant, is Dr. David Peachy.

He was asked to review changes made so far to Winnipeg’s hospitals as part of phase two of the Pallister government’s health care overhaul.

Peachy says the conversion of Seven Oaks Hospital’s Emergency room to an Urgent Care Centre, which is scheduled for September, should be paused immediately.

“I personally would like to see the Seven Oaks changes delayed. I would like to see them put a pause on this entire transformation to stop and sort out the issues we have,” says Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.

Despite the report, Manitoba’s health minister, Cameron Friesen, says the changes at Seven Oaks will proceed as planned.

“They said that we should go back and unwind everything. We won’t go back,” said Friesen at a news conference on Monday.

Earlier this month, Concordia Hospital’s ER was replaced with an Urgent Care Centre, despite pushback from the Manitoba Nurses Union.

“We realize that in many cases, this has meant disruption for nurses — but not only for nurses,” Friesen said. “So we had 17 nurses meet with David Peachy. They expressed they are in need of sustainable conditions in the work place.”

The nurses’ union says overall workload and increasing overtime hours are factors that need to be addressed before any further changes take place.

“The amount of overtime and the workload that’s related to these changes, staffing, and nursing shortages are very stressful,” Jackson says, “and the fact that you are not able to provide that high-quality care you were educated with and that Manitobans deserve is stressful as well.”

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