Thompson Hospital operating room repair delays 'upsetting and frustrating'

Manitoba's nurses' union says ongoing delays in re-opening the Thompson General Hospital's operating rooms that have been out of commission since the summer is placing an undue burden on patients in the north.

Reopening three of four operating rooms pushed back to March over 'production delays,' health region says

The health region said the three operating rooms that aren't operational right now should be completed by March. (ChaNaWiT/Shutterstock)

Manitoba's nurses union says ongoing delays in reopening the Thompson General Hospital's operating rooms, which have been out of commission since the summer, are placing an undue burden on patients in the north.

On June 1, the hospital found faulty air conditioners on the building's roof had led to "significant water damage" in three of the hospital's four operating theatres.

In the fall, the Northern Regional Health Authority told CBC News the operating rooms would be open by the new year, but that date has been pushed back to March of 2020 over "production delays," a spokesperson said this week.

"It is upsetting and frustrating for patients and to have to travel for care," said Darlene Jackson, the president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.

The hospital in the northern Manitoba city of about 13,700 people, roughly 650 kilometres north of Winnipeg, provides care for people all over the north.

Since the OR closures, elective surgeries are being diverted from Thompson to Flin Flon, The Pas or Winnipeg. 

Jackson says time is of the essence when it comes to health care.

"I'm really hoping that we get those operating rooms up and running as soon as possible so that nurses in the [operating room] can get back to work and patients can get the care where they need as close to home as possible."


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