Patients seek routine care in ERs, say Manitoba Tories
Manitoba's opposition Tories want to know why Winnipeg's emergency rooms have many patients who are there for routine procedures like having their bandages changed or getting more antibiotics.
Progressive Conservative health critic Myrna Driedger obtained figures from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that show about 27,000 visits to hospital ERs between 2009 and 2011 were for scheduled appointments.
That is despite a recommendation from an emergency room task force in 2004 to end that practice immediately.
"Experts who were on this task force recommended that in order to improve access to patient care, we needed to eliminate scheduled visits as soon as possible," Driedger said Wednesday.
"It's staggering that eight years later, those numbers are as high as they are."
Health Minister Theresa Oswald said changes are underway to shift routine procedures to clinics and even homes.
According to the health authority's figures, 12,841 scheduled visits took place in Winnipeg emergency rooms in 2009-2010, and 14,234 visits were made in 2010-2011.