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Manitoba Liberals Call for Immediate Intervention at Grace Hospital

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB -

Manitoba Liberal MLAs are calling on the Stefanson Government to immediately address patient care at the Grace Hospital after speaking with a patient who says she endured traumatic and humiliating treatment during several visits this month, including spending days waiting for care in the ER without relief.

Heather Stewart has a condition Central Pain Syndrome (CPS) caused by a spinal cord injury, which is associated with a great deal of pain. She went to the Grace Hospital Emergency Room three times in eight days.

  • Ms. Stewart visited the Grace Emergency room on March 2, 6, and 8. In summary, going to the Emergency Room was traumatic and humiliating.

  • Though she was in the Emergency Room for 10-30 hours each visit, no food or drink was ever offered to her;

  • No call bell was available to her and she was told to yell for help/assistance when she needed it;

  • Neglect led to humiliation of matters that are private in nature;

  • At another point on her third visit, she fell in her room and was left on the floor. Instead of helping her up, the door was closed on her as punishment.

Stewart vows never to return to the Grace Hospital, and has called for authorities to consider closing the ER until it can be made safe.

"This is one of three major hospitals in Winnipeg that still has an ER, and 45 doctors warned they didn't feel safe practicing medicine there. There's a saying - it's never just one cockroach. We have already heard from other patients about similar lack of patient care at The Grace. The PCs should be moving mountains to make sure everyone in there is safe - doctors, nurses, patients, health care aides, technologists, you name it," said Lamont.

"The government has created conditions where bad things happen. We know the lack of care shown can happen when professionals are burned out. They are pushed past the brink of physical and mental exhaustion in a system they know is not working," said Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights. "People within the system are being broken by it."

Manitoba Liberals say emergency measures need to be taken immediately to ensure people and resources are in place to keep it open safely.

Gerrard has written to the Minster of Health on her behalf, but has yet to receive any response.

"Staff have been overworked and under excessive pressure for too long, and the result is burnout, where good and caring people lose hope and struggle to feel compassion because they have been traumatized at work," said Lamont. "It is important to remember that no matter how ugly the situation, first and foremost, a hospital needs to be a safe place where people can be treated with respect and with compassion."

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