Province revamps WRHA as healthcare system moans under weight of COVID

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Manitoba Moves Forward with ‘Difficult’ Reorganization in Winnipeg Health Region As Backlog of Over 150,000 Surgeries and Medical Procedures Grows Daily and Elderly Patients Are Displaced Hundreds of Miles from home to keep beds open for a COVID outbreak.

The changes mark the start of the next phase of the Progressive Conservative government’s healthcare system reforms, which closed three of the city’s six hospital emergency departments and consolidated other departments.

A letter confirming the process was continuing, sent Dec. 1 to staff at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority by CEO Mike Nader, was obtained by the Manitoba Liberals.

Chief Dougald Lamont said it was both shocking and disappointing that the province is proceeding with the planned overhaul amid clear and continuing pressure on the overburdened system.

“It is incredible to me that the government is willing to move forward with these disruptive changes when they have been a complete and utter disaster so far,” Lamont said Thursday.

“It wasn’t just the pandemic that shattered our healthcare system, these so-called transformations shattered our healthcare system.”

Nader wrote that the changes would include redesigning positions, consolidating some programs, and moving some positions and services to Shared Health.

The departments that would be realigned included cardiac sciences, clinical health psychology, financial operations and the renal program, among others.

“Even if you are not directly affected, it is important to be aware of these changes as the organizational and administrative structure of the WRHA will be different once this phase of transformation is complete,” Nader wrote.

“I have personally experienced these types of changes throughout my career and I know how difficult it is,” the letter said. “We continue to work hard every day to fight the COVID 19 pandemic and its impacts on our community and I understand that this comes at an already difficult time. ”

The WRHA deferred its comments to Manitoba Health, which issued a statement calling the changes a “milestone.”

“The goal of implementing a simplified, integrated and aligned health system structure is best positioned to improve the quality, accessibility and efficiency of health services across Manitoba,” he said .

“Plans to implement initiatives that result in significant improvements to the health system will continue but will be continuously reviewed and adjusted in relation to the COVID-19 response of the health system. ”

Lamont said it was unacceptable that the government continued to reorganize the healthcare system as pressure from the fourth wave of COVID-19 increases and the task force’s work on surgical and diagnostic recovery has only just begun. .

“We have burnout, we have people leaving the system en masse and this government does not even stop for a moment to determine if the damaging changes they have made are part of the problem,” he said. declared, calling for the process to be stopped.

The province announced in January that it would move forward with the second wave of the healthcare system transformation plan.

At the time, then-Minister of Health Heather Stefanson announced that responsibility for the Cadham Provincial Laboratory, the Selkirk Mental Health Center and the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba would be transferred to Shared Health or another service delivery organization, reaching approximately 1,200 employees.

According to the province, some 12,000 staff from across the health system switched to Shared Health in 2019, as part of Phase 1 reforms.

– Staff

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