'Close to home': Seven Oaks Hospital staff rally against ER change
Support workers at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg say they're worried they may have to work farther away from home, thanks to plans to turn the hospital's emergency department into an urgent care centre.
More than 100 health-care support workers, who are represented by CUPE Local 2509, and supporters held signs outside the hospital on Thursday morning as part of a rally against a planned overhaul of emergency services.
Emergency departments at Seven Oaks and Victoria hospitals will be converted into 24/7 urgent care centres, which will handle immediate but non-life-threatening emergencies.
Officials say while no jobs will be cut as a result of the overhaul, staff members at the rally say they're worried they'll have to work elsewhere.
"They are not closing them, but we may have to move somewhere else," said Michelle Richardson.
"This is the place that's close to home, and this is my community, and it's the place where I chose that I wanted to work."
Richardson, who brought her young daughter to Thursday's rally, added that the changes could leave people living near Seven Oaks unsure of where to go in case of emergency.
There is also growing concern about the ER at Concordia Hospital, which is slated to close altogether. CUPE held a rally outside that hospital last week, while concerned residents voiced their concerns at a town hall organized by the NDP on Wednesday evening.