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News Release - Manitoba

January 19, 2024

More Doctors added to HSC Minor Treatment Clinic to Help Relieve Emergency Room Congestion

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Investment Responds to Surge in Patient Volumes: Asagwara

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The Manitoba government is adding more physician hours at the minor treatment clinic at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg in a four-week pilot project to help reduce wait times in the hospital’s emergency department, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today.

“Addressing the wait times in our emergency rooms is the first and most critical step in our plan to fix health care after years of damage,” said Asagwara. “This clinic is located near the emergency department and offers quality care for families and seniors with less acute needs. Now, these services will be more accessible to suit Manitobans’ busy lives. This initiative will add immediate capacity to the health-care system and help families get care quicker. It will help to relieve the pressure on the emergency department and free up space for Manitobans who need it most.”

Provincial funding will add one more physician to the care teams at the HSC minor treatment clinic for six hours per day, seven days per week for a four-week period. This will help respond to the surge in patient volumes with the goal of reducing wait times and ensuring all patients who come to the emergency department are seen, noted the minister.

“The minor treatment clinic has been a valuable addition to the services offered at Health Sciences Centre and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Manon Pelletier, chief medical officer, Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg. “This successful model is improving access to appropriate care in a culturally appropriate and more timely way, while also reducing the number of people waiting for care in the emergency department.”

The clinic provides care to patients with non-urgent illnesses or injuries referred from the facility’s emergency department as well as walk-in care to those without primary care providers. The clinic is also facilitating earlier discharge from hospital by providing some initial followup care, noted the minister, as well as quick access to some outpatient procedures, preventing admissions.

The expanded physician hours at the clinic represent the Manitoba government’s ongoing commitment to reduce wait times in emergency departments and improve access to primary care, noted the minister. Other recent investments have supported adding acute care beds at St. Boniface Hospital and Grace Hospital, establishing a new family medicine program at Grace Hospital and expanding allied health positions to support patient discharges on weekends.

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