Manitoba

Hundreds expected to protest emergency room cuts in Eriksdale, Manitoba Friday

Around 300 people are expected to rally in Manitoba's Eriksdale on Friday to protest cuts to the Interlake community's hospital emergency room.

A councillor said the ER closed a few days ago, ambulances are driving patients across the region to hospitals

Local councillor Keith Lundale said the section of the hospital closed a few days ago and ambulances are driving patients across the region to other hospitals for medical attention. (CBC)

Around 300 people are expected to rally in Manitoba's Eriksdale on Friday to protest cuts to the Interlake community's hospital emergency room.

Recently, the two doctors that staffed the emergency room quit, and the region is desperate to recruit between 25 and 45 physicians to provide adequate health care, according to the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Local councillor Keith Lundale said the section of the hospital closed a few days ago and ambulances are driving patients across the region to other hospitals for medical attention.

Those in Winnipeg can't imagine what rural people must tolerate, according to Lundale.

"The wait time for an ambulance [in an urban setting] are five minutes. Ours are 30 minutes," he said.

"And that's an acceptable practice … If somebody is sitting on the floor having a massive heart attack, [they must] wait 30 minutes to have an ambulance show up at [the] door. That's a long time."

Lundale is calling for services to even out across regions.

"Are we lesser because of where we live to the amenities of health services? No," he said.

"I think we deserve the same amount of health care that other people in the capital region receive."

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