The Manitoba government has announced that it is adding new acute care beds to help improve patient care at Grace Hospital and reduce congestion in its emergency department.
“This investment of new beds at Grace Hospital will relieve some of the pressure and congestion in the emergency department, easing wait times that patients encounter every day,” said Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara. “The changes will provide patients with high-quality care in hospital beds when they need it most and will reduce the chaos created by systemic underinvestment in the health-care system in recent years.”
As a part of a broader beds plan, as well as the establishment of a new family medicine program at Grace Hospital, this investment will add 10 new medicine beds and 11 new surgical beds (including five announced on Nov. 17) at Grace Hospital before the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2024), with another 10 medicine beds to be added in 2024-25, the minister noted, adding this phased-in approach will help ensure the beds are resourced and staffed as they come online.
“As Winnipeg’s third acute care site, this increased bed capacity is fundamental to our operations and will help improve our patient flow, which will in turn provide more timely access to care and ultimately even better outcomes for all of our patients,” said Dr. Ramin Hamedani, chief medical officer, Grace Hospital. “This new medicine unit is precisely what Grace Hospital needs to provide the best care possible.”
This is the first step in a broader strategy to increase the number of acute care beds at various hospitals throughout the health-care system. Further details will be shared in the coming weeks, the minister noted.
“We’re listening to health-care experts who told us that more beds and more staff are needed to improve patient flow and reduce emergency room wait times,” said Asagwara. “The best initiatives, and those that will have a significant impact, are those that are informed by health-care professionals.”
“Increasing the bed base is fundamental to the success of the health system and this is an excellent start that will have an immediate and tangible impact on care,” said Mike Nader, president and CEO, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “Together with the Manitoba government’s recent announcement about expanding allied health services to seven days a week, we are taking important steps toward building an environment that will allow emergency departments to have the space and capacity to meet the demands we are facing. We have been listening to staff who have told us these are things they need to make things better for them and for those we serve, and we are grateful for the Manitoba government’s leadership in making this happen.”
The new beds build on the Manitoba government’s recent commitment to reduce emergency room congestion on weekends by increasing allied position staffing from five to seven days a week, the minister noted, which will improve patient discharge services at hospitals in Winnipeg, Brandon and Selkirk at an initial cost of $2.75 million this fiscal year. Additional funding of $6.9 million is planned for the 2024-25 fiscal year to support hiring these allied health positions, the minister added.