Misericordia eye care centre to remain open 24/7

Changing hours at the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre won't affect the hospital's eye care centre, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says.

Urgent care centre to close from 8 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. starting July 5

Misericordia Health Centre's 24-hour urgent care centre will close overnight starting July 5. (Google Street View)

Changing hours at the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre won't affect the hospital's eye care centre, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says.

Starting Wednesday, the urgent care centre will be closed overnight, shutting its doors at 8 p.m. and opening again at 7:30 a.m.

The hospital and the health authority issued a joint release on Tuesday reminding Winnipeggers the reduced hours won't impact the Eye Care Centre of Excellence, which will continue to be open all hours of the day.

"Eye assessment will remain on site at Misericordia Health Centre 24/7, providing eye patients with specialized care," said Lori Lamont, the health authority's vice-president, in a written statement.

The centre is the largest comprehensive surgical and treatment program for eyes in Western Canada, the health authority said. Its 25 surgical ophthalmologists perform nearly 12,000 surgeries every year.

Dr. Lorne Bellan, one of the ophthalmologists at the centre, said a "tremendous amount" has been invested in the facility's resources and equipment.

"It would be, I'm sure, incredibly expensive to suddenly try and transplant this somewhere else," Bellan said. "So it makes sense, once you've put all this time and effort and money into creating a centre of excellence not to walk away from it."

Patients who need to access the eye care centre overnight can register for the clinic directly at the hospital entrance at 99 Cornish Ave.

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With files from CBC Manitoba's Up to Speed