Over 200 CUPE health care members, community members, and allies rallied outside Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg on April 11th in opposition to the provincial government’s decision to close the Emergency Room, leaving the community with nowhere to go in an emergency.
“We are very concerned that we are losing our Emergency Room and other important departments that serve the community,” said Ric McAlpine, President of CUPE Local 1973, representing health care support staff at Concordia Hospital.
“We haven’t seen any evidence that moving programs out of the community will benefit the health of people in this area”.
On Friday, April 7th, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) announced sweeping changes to Winnipeg’s health care system, including the closure of three Emergency Rooms and relocation of numerous other departments.
“Judging by the response from front-line staff and the community, the closure of the Concordia ER is simply not acceptable,” said McAlpine.
A petition being circulated online garnered over 1,500 signatures in a matter of days, and opposition to the closures is growing.
“Today’s rally is to highlight the fact that front-line health care workers stand with the public in our opposition of the closure of the Concordia ER,” concluded McAlpine.
“We know that the community values the programs and departments offered by our hospital and other community hospitals, and the provincial government needs to protect these important services.”
More rallies are being planned against Premier Brian Pallister’s cuts to front-line services and programs:
April 21: “Rally for Workers” – 12:15 pm @ Manitoba Legislature, organized by PSAC
April 22: “Communities Not Cuts” – 11:30 am @ The Forks Oodena Circle, organized by the community
April 26: “Rally for Safe Patient Care” – 12:30 pm @ Manitoba Legislature organized by Manitoba Nurses Union
All CUPE members are encouraged to join these rallies and more as we continue our fight back against cuts!