Yesterday, an urgent meeting of our MAHCP’s Executive Council was held to deal with the multiple changes coming to Health Care in Manitoba.
Directors were given the opportunity to share the concerns and questions that each of them are hearing from the members in their facilities and areas. Our Labour Relations staff have also been fielding many questions from members.
We are setting up further meetings with the WRHA where we will be relaying to them all of the questions and concerns being brought forward by our membership. These are some of the questions that we will be seeking to answer:
- How does closing emergency departments improve access for Manitobans to care?
- What will happen to the people in my community with no Emergency department?
- If I work in one of the closing facilities, what happens to my position? Will there be inter-facility bumping? If so, how will that work? Will there be layoffs?
- If I work in a department in one of the remaining facilities and other members transfer in, how does that affect my position?
- Why does there appear to be a lack of planning to expand the capacity in each of the 3 remaining facilities to match the increased demand?
- What about Manitobans from Rural and Northern Manitoba who rely on emergency services that are only available in Winnipeg? Is capacity in those areas being expanded?
These are only some of the questions that I am sure members have. As we gather more information from the Employer, we will certainly be sharing that with members as soon as possible.
The final point I would like to address is what some members have been told by their individual management and/or human resources teams regarding this “plan” to close ERs.
No-one from MAHCP was involved in any way whatsoever in the decision to close emergency rooms. This decision was based on one specific recommendation from the recently released Peachey report. The government and the WRHA have ignored the related recommendation that this can only be beneficial if capacity in the remaining facilities is expanded to meet the needs of Manitobans.
MAHCP’s input was that while the system does need improvement, closing facilities without a larger plan is outrageous. MAHCP’s further input was to ensure that the Peachey research team contemplated the contribution of all Allied Health employees in any of their recommendations, given that for years, health workforce planning ended after the conversation about Doctors and Nurses.
We all know that health care depends on our members in every single Allied Health profession. We cannot and will not watch our members continue to have their already onerous workloads increased by a short-sighted, budget-based, decision to close facilities. We already do more with less.
Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you, our members, and your loved ones a safe and happy Easter, and my deepest thanks to those members working through this weekend.