Manitoba Daily

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Some rural emergency rooms in Manitoba are temporarily shut due to a lack of staff

Some rural Manitoba emergency rooms are temporarily closed due to staff shortages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Persistent staffing shortages at outlying emergency rooms continue to be a problem, causing several to close or restrict their hours.
  • In a news release on Thursday, Prairie Mountain Health Region described significant changes to western Manitoba emergency room opening times.
  • The Manitoba Nurses Union reports that 2,497 nursing positions—or around 20% of all open posts—are currently available in Manitoba.

In remote emergency rooms, persistent personnel shortages continue to cause issues, forcing some to close or reduce their hours.

Since 1974, Bonnie Nunn has resided in Trehern, Manitoba. She claims that the local hospital has experienced worsening personnel shortages over the past few years.

“I’m furious—furious at everything. I don’t think this was given enough, though,” she remarked. I’m not mad at the nurses. They also require a break.

Nunn claimed that lately, one of her relatives required emergency care and had to be transported to Portage la Prairie, 45 minutes away, since the Trehern emergency department was shut down for a staffing shortage.

Nunn remarked, “You know, it’s far too long if you require rapid attention.

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Prairie Mountain Health Region revealed several alterations to the opening hours of emergency rooms in western Manitoba in a press release on Thursday.

Emergency room visits and hospital admissions have been temporarily halted in Trehern and Melita.

Additionally, the emergency rooms in Grandview and Souris are decreasing their hours of operation and closing on particular days.

The message from Prairie Mountain Health Region stated that “these problems, resulting from a combination of vacancies, staff leaves, and vacations, have been reviewed with physician leadership and staff at the affected locations as well as with key community partners.”

The Manitoba Nurses Union stated the impact of the closure of other emergency rooms in the province in a statement to CTV News.

“Both the frontline as well as patients outside of the city borders are put under additional strain as a result of this. As a result, patients must travel further to access the care they require, putting additional strain on other hospital departments. “Read the declaration.


An emergency room had to close recently because Dr. David Cram, a physician in Souris and member of the provincial and national medical association boards, was away at a conference.

Cram said, “You can understand if one doctor goes or relocates for whatever reason, which is what happened to us, or if one position becomes unwell, or if one takes well-deserved holidays, and you’re left with so few physicians, you have to close it down.”

Dr. Cram claimed that the issue goes beyond the prairie mountain health zone and that there is a personnel shortage in rural emergency rooms across Canada.

“I firmly believe that Canada, including Manitoba, needs a human health resource plan. The Canadian Medical Association is working on it, as far as I know.”

Cram said that the future might also benefit from experimenting with novel health models, such as designing a rural doctor rotation that appeals to younger medical professionals.

Some rural Manitoba emergency rooms are temporarily closed due to staff shortages.
Some rural Manitoba emergency rooms are temporarily closed due to staff shortages. Image from CBC News

There will be some continuity of care if you can get three or four doctors to agree to come out for a week once a month to a rural system.

An opinion shared by the Manitoba Nurses Union.

Part of a statement from the MNU stated, “We are past due addressing strategies to retain experienced nurses and recruit recruits with vacancy rates as high as they are as well as even higher in certain areas of rural Manitoba. “It’s time to seek more innovative ways to persuade our seasoned nurses to continue in the field and recruit new nurses to join the public system.”

According to the Manitoba Nurses Union, there are now 2,497 nursing positions open in Manitoba, which accounts for nearly 20% of all open posts.

Regional health officials are working to keep medical personnel, a province spokesperson claimed in a statement.

“Rural, regional health authorities continue to take numerous steps to attract and keep medical professionals in rural areas. Physician availability in less crowded areas of the province and long-standing staffing issues have been problems for decades. “Read the sentence partially.

According to the spokesperson, the province continues to invest in the health care workforce across Manitoba, including a proposal to recruit 35 paramedics and nearly 400 new seats for nursing students.

Source: CTV News

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