Saint-Anne Hospital emergency closed at night due to lack of staff

The hospital located about fifty kilometers southeast of Winnipeg now accepts patients from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We have a temporary shortage of doctors. In order to continue to offer our services to the community, we have reduced our hours. We have 3 doctors who offer regular services and 2 traveling doctors [qui viennent en aide]explains the director of care of Southern Health, Mona Spencer.

In order to be able to return to full-time service, Ms. Spencer indicates that Santé Sud will have to recruit three other doctors to offer regular services.

But in an ideal world, the facility would need eight permanent doctors.

In October 2018, Sainte-Anne Hospital also had to close its doors at night, also due to a lack of doctors. It took over a year, in January 2020, before 24-hour service resumed.

For the moment, Santé Sud has not yet provided any indication on the resumption of regular service.

Mona Spencer indicates that the situation will be reassessed this fall.

Meanwhile, Southern Health is working on a physician recruitment plan in conjunction with Manitoba Shared Health, Spencer said.

She adds that Santé Sud works so that student residents of the bilingual medical study program remain.

Ms Spencer admits that recruiting of bilingual professionals is a challenge.

In an email, Santé Sud maintains that it gives priority to strengthened provincial and regional recruitment and retention initiatives.

Concern in patients

Suffering from an autoimmune disease and resident of Sainte-Anne, Tiffany Twist is concerned about the impact of this closure of the emergency room on residents, especially at night.

I’m very worried for people, especially someone who needs to get to the hospital quickly. Going to a further hospital increases response timesshe says.

Tiffany Twist is pictured outside Ste. Anne's Hospital.

Sainte-Anne resident Tiffany Twiste, who has an autoimmune disease, is concerned about the reduction in activities at the emergency room of her city’s hospital.

Photo: Tiffany Twist

It is a hospital that is used by residents of several villages around us. The closest hospitals to us are Steinbach or Winnipeg about 30 or 40 minutes away. »

A quote from Tiffany Twist, resident of Sainte-Anne

She says she now fears a possible closure of the rural hospital. Ms. Twist says she experienced it in Whitemouth, located about 100 kilometers from Winnipeg.

On this Mona Spencer wanted to be rather reassuring.

In Sainte-Anne, it is a very busy hospital. All hospitals across Santé Sud are very important to serve the population. »

A quote from Mona Spencer, Director of Southern Health Care

The Director of South Health Care also notes that pregnant women will be able to give birth at Sainte-Anne Hospital after 8 p.m. and admitted patients will continue to receive care after this time.

In addition, Santé Sud asks residents who need emergency care during the night to contact 911, adding that the paramedics will assess the patient and bring him to the nearest hospital.

Results of healthy cuts?

On social media, many people claimed that this reduction in hours at Ste. Anne’s Hospital was the result of several cuts by the Progressive Conservative government.

They challenged the MNA for Dawson Trails, Bob Lagassé and urged him to act.

By e-mail, Mr. Lagassé says he is in regular communication with the Minister of Healthand to have confidence in the government’s commitment to providing quality health care in this region and throughout Manitoba.

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