Sign comes down as Misericordia Urgent Care Centre prepares to close
Former hospital ER turned urgent care centre will become intravenous therapy clinic on Tuesday
The clock is ticking for the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre.
"It is sad," said Tatjana Brkic, whose husband had to go to the centre to get help with stomach pain on Sunday night.
Tatjana Brkic, who lives in St. Vital, said the centre provides speedy care and was a much better alternative to an emergency room she feared would have long waits.
"They don't see the human value," said Brent MacFarlane, who went to the Misericordia on Sunday night to get help with a blood clot he recently had. MacFarlane said it takes him 10 minutes to get from home to the centre and the care he's gotten in the past has always been top-notch.
MacFarlane said instead of closing the centre, decision-makers should talk with staff on the front lines, like the nurse he saw on Sunday, who he said made a list of ways to save money.
"She knows no one will ever ask her, so I find that pretty frustrating."
Late Sunday night, crews from a sign company arrived and took down the centre's urgent care sign as nurses stood outside and watched.
The end of the Mis. Crews took down the urgent care centre's sign tonight. It's set to officially close Tuesday. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Winnipeg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Winnipeg</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcmb?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cbcmb</a> <a href="https://t.co/1l2GQ60VtH">pic.twitter.com/1l2GQ60VtH</a>—@AustinGrabish
The decision to shutter the centre for good, announced in April by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, is part of a bigger plan to close three emergency departments, leaving Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and Grace Hospital as Winnipeg's primary hospitals for emergency services.
The changes are intended to streamline and concentrate resources in an effort to curb soaring health-care costs and improve emergency wait times for patients.
The Manitoba government calls the overhaul the biggest change to the provincial health-care system in a generation.
Doctors pan plan
But the plan to close the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre has been panned by doctors who work there. They penned an open letter imploring Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen and other politicians to reverse the decision to close the centre.
Of the 39,000 visits the urgent care centre received annually, approximately 11,000 are from people who live downtown and in Point Douglas, the doctors said.
Those neighbourhoods are "comprised of many of the city's impoverished, marginalized and disenfranchised" citizens, the letter read.
With files from Kevin Engstrom