Prairie Mountain Health region suspending, scaling back some ER services this summer

People in southwestern Manitoba are being warned that a number of Prairie Mountain Health emergency departments will scale back or suspend services during the summer amid staffing shortages and leaves.

The changes are a result of staffing shortages, staff leaves and vacations, the health authority said in a Thursday news release.

The following list of changes will be made at hospitals this summer, Prairie Mountain Health said:

  • Treherne: ER and hospital admissions temporarily suspended.
  • Grandview: ER services available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; overnight and weekend ER services temporarily suspended as of July 8.
  • Melita: ER and hospital admissions temporarily suspended as of June 30.
  • Souris: ER services remain available 24 hours per day, except Mondays and Wednesdays, when services will be suspended as of July 4.

Laboratory and diagnostic services remain unchanged at the above sites through summer.

The region suggests anyone seeking emergency services call their local health centre to find the nearest open ER. Up-to-date schedules are also available on the Prairie Mountain Health website.

The health authority “continues to work on the recruitment of physicians and other professional and skilled health-care staff,” it said in its news release.

ERs have been temporarily closed or shifted to urgent care facilities in some Prairie Mountain communities in past years, due to staffing and servicing constraints.

At a meeting in May with community members in Grandview, the health authority said it expected 20 doctor vacancies in the region by the end of the summer.

In its Thursday release, the health authority says it “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.”