Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) announced last week the closures of four Manitoba communities' hospital emergency services over the summer months of July and August, creating upset for residents in those areas.
Mayor of Melita, Bill Holden, is inviting local residents and community stakeholders to attend a meeting this evening (Tuesday, July 5) at the Melita Legion Hall to voice their concerns and to hear more from representatives of PMH, including Brian Schoonbaert, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Prairie Mountain Health Region.
"It's a huge hit for the Town of Melita and very concerning," shares Holden. "The concerning part to start with is that everybody jumps on Facebook and starts pointing fingers and blaming people. I have a book, 'Thirteen Ways to Kill Your Community' and one of those ways is negative posts on [social media]. People all around the world see that. We've got a lot of people moving here from out of province and that could come to a pretty quick halt if people start reading some of these things."
Holden would like to see the Province take serious steps to secure health care staff, starting with signing a contract with Manitoba nurses, and he encourages everyone to contact their provincial representatives and for the provincial government to take serious action.
At this Tuesday evening's meeting, concerns will be shared, as well as information for the public to better understand the limited power a municipal government body has in the Provincial government's decision-making. "We would like to see as many people come out," he adds. "We'd like to hear ideas from the public but we also want to educate people with just how things work around here. We do not have the power over the RHA."
This evening's meeting will be held at the Melita Legion Hall at 7 pm. All are welcome to attend.
To listen to the entire interview with Mayor Bill Holden and CJRB's Barry Lamb, please scroll to the bottom of this article.
Prairie Mountain Health - Media Release June 30, 2022
'Summer staffing challenges at a number of health-care facilities located in the Prairie Mountain Health Region will result in the temporary adjustment of emergency department and hospital admission hours at several locations in order to ensure reliable and consistent health services for residents and visitors to the region.
These challenges, resulting from a combination of vacancies, staff leaves, and vacations, have been discussed with physician leadership and staff at the affected sites as well as with key community stakeholders.
The feedback generated during these meetings made it clear that access to consistent, reliable and known Emergency Department services is a priority,' stated the PMH Media Release last week.
The schedule below has been created as part of PMH’s Summer Operations plan in an effort to provide certainty for residents and visitors:
• Treherne – Emergency Department and hospital admissions will be temporarily suspended
• Grandview – Emergency Department services will remain in place from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Overnight and weekend emergency department services will be temporarily suspended effective July 8th .
• Melita – Emergency Department and hospital admissions will be temporarily suspended effective June 30th
• Souris – Emergency Department services remain available 24 hours per day, except for Mondays and Wednesdays, when services will be suspended - effective July 4th
*Laboratory and diagnostic service hours at the above sites are unchanged.
'PMH continues to work on the recruitment of physicians and other professional and skilled health-care staff. We will continue to work with communities to discuss how we can best work together to encourage people to live and work in our health region,' continued the media release. 'We are also working closely with other health service delivery organizations on provincial recruitment, retention and training efforts. We thank the residents of Prairie Mountain Health for their patience and understanding during this time. Please help by using the Emergency Department during the designated hours for the purpose it was designed for – to manage serious health care needs. All less serious health care needs should be addressed through your primary care (doctor or nurse practitioner’s) clinic.'