News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 16, 2019

Government Approves Urgent Care Centre for Concordia Hospital, Implementing Other Recommendations Made in Peachey Review

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Quality Assurance Assessment Finds Clinical Consolidation Blueprint is Correct, But Stabilization and Strengthening of System Needed: Friesen

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The Manitoba government will implement recommendations made in a quality assurance assessment of planned changes within the Winnipeg health region, including the transition of emergency departments to urgent care centres at Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“There is broad agreement among clinical leaders throughout the health-care system that the plan to improve patient outcomes is working, but it has become increasingly clear the timeline is problematic,” said Friesen.  “We will establish urgent care centres for Concordia and Seven Oaks while giving health-care leadership at least six months to build control measures that further strengthen patient safety and the stability of the overall system before proceeding with further planned changes.”

The minister said increased patient volume reflect the decision to establish an urgent care model at Concordia.  In only two years, Winnipeg hospitals have seen a 12 per cent rise in ambulance arrivals and an 11 per cent increase in admissions.  Similarly, the population of seniors 65 years of age and older in Concordia’s catchment area increased by 8.4 per cent between 2015 and 2018.

“The significant increase in the number of patients both presenting and requiring admission to hospitals throughout Winnipeg warrant a more robust model of care,” said Friesen.  “We will establish an urgent care centre for Concordia within the next six weeks while the transition for Seven Oaks remains on track for September.”

Dr. David Peachey, who was re-engaged last month to conduct a review of clinical consolidation efforts within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), provided the recommendations.  Peachey met with leadership from Shared Health, the WRHA, senior administration from all hospitals, clinical leadership and the Manitoba Nurses Union.  His recommendations were submitted to government over the weekend.

Peachey’s review determined the plan for clinical consolidation is the right one for Winnipeg and that there have been a number of notable achievements to date in the Healing the Health System plan.  These include improvements in emergency wait times, historically low waits for personal care home placement in Winnipeg, and ongoing improvements due to consolidation of mental health and addictions, surgical and Indigenous health services.  He recommended a pause in advance of further planned changes of at least six months to allow for strengthening of a provincial clinical governance model.  Consistent with its role in all other health regions, Peachey recommended Shared Health assume management of system planning going forward.

Those recommendations will be implemented, said Friesen.

“It makes sense that Shared Health monitor and support clinical consolidation efforts, which has already been tasked with developing Manitoba’s first provincewide clinical and preventive services plan,” the minister said.  “Giving Shared Health responsibility for clinical governance of this dynamic plan will allow WRHA officials to focus on the central role of all health regions in our transformed system:  the delivery of care.”

Shared Health will be asked to expedite a needs assessment of the Winnipeg health region to carefully monitor progress, flag areas of change that require a greater level of attention and implement control measures to ensure plans stay on track.

“A provincial clinical and preventive services plan will ensure that health services delivered by the regional health authorities and other organizations in Manitoba are aligned.  By working together more effectively across the province, we will improve access to care and improve quality of care,” said Dr. Brock Wright, chief executive officer, Shared Health.  “The changes underway in Winnipeg are an important component of the broader provincial plan.  Shared Health’s clinical leaders in primary care and speciality services will support the implementation of the plan and carefully monitor changes to ensure they are achieving desired outcomes.  We look forward to working with our colleagues in WRHA to ensure these changes improve care for patients.”

“The Healing the Health System plan has seen considerable success in its first two years and laid the groundwork for an improved system that delivers better patient outcomes,” said Real Cloutier, CEO, WRHA.  “As we have always said, we have to be able to adapt to new and emerging needs and we support the recommended changes.  We also thank our staff and front-line health providers for their ongoing contributions and feedback during a very large transformation process.”

Peachey and his firm, Health Intelligence Inc., was contracted by the previous government in 2015.  His report, Clinical and Preventive Services Planning for Manitoba:  Doing Things Differently and Better, cited the province’s historic wait-time challenges and provided a blueprint for an improved system based on patient care and wait-time successes in jurisdictions such as Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa.

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