Media release

Improvements to patient care the focus of WRHA capital investments

Upgrades will support the Healing our Health System consolidation plan

August 14, 2017 -The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) today announced a number of capital investments to support the consolidation of clinical services and improve patient care. The investments include enhancements to emergency departments and improved treatment spaces for seniors, mental health patients and the most seriously ill patients at city hospitals. The investments will ensure patients are receiving the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

"Manitobans deserve a health care system that provides them with timely and appropriate care and that follows the best practices that are already working in other jurisdictions," said  Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living. "For too long, Manitoba patients have dealt with wait times for emergency services that far exceed those experienced in other provinces. These investments support the consolidation of clinical services that will improve access to health services and enhance the quality of patient care for all Manitobans."

Earlier this year, the region announced the reorganization of health services in Winnipeg. As part of the Healing our Health System plan, patients with similar care needs will be grouped together in locations with appropriately specialized staff and equipment.  These changes will ensure more timely access to specialists, diagnostic testing and treatment, particularly for the most acutely ill patients, and will shorten the region's wait times overall.

The plan will also improve wait times for emergency care by concentrating these resources at three acute sites to provide 24/7 acute-care, resulting in fewer transfers and shorter wait times. These changes will bring Winnipeg in line with how services are successfully provided in other cities of the same size that experience shorter wait times and better access to care with fewer emergency departments.

Winnipeg will support three acute-care emergency departments (Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and Grace Hospital); while two urgent care centres (Victoria General Hospital and Seven Oaks General Hospital) provide 24/7 care for non-life threatening health concerns requiring same-day treatment.

"These investments will also improve patient environment and the work environment for staff, allowing them to better utilize their skills in the provision of patient care," said Lori Lamont, vice president and chief nursing officer of the WRHA. "The renovations and projects we're discussing today will play a major role in improving the way we serve the health needs of all Manitobans."

The capital investments announced today primarily target renovations to address volume changes and will ensure timely access to the right care when a patient visits an emergency department. Other investments focus on priorities such as mental health, intensive care and geriatric rehabilitation services, all of which are being reorganized in order to improve patient care and the delivery of specific health services for these populations.

These new investments, will cost approximately $19.9 million over the next 27 months.

In order to ensure renovations are completed in line with the timelines of the Healing our Health System plan (occurring between October 2017 and Spring 2019), the following projects are underway with a number out to market to procure consultant teams (RFQ's):

To be completed in Phase 1 (by Spring 2018)

To be completed in Phase 2 (beginning Spring 2018)

For more information, contact:

Bronwyn Penner-Holigroski
(p) 204-926-7868
(e) bpennerholigroski@wrha.mb.ca

Anne Bennett
(p) 204-926-7178
(e) abennett4@wrha.mb.ca