WRHA hopes to cut down on wait times, reduce stress on emergency departments with new initiatives

Dr. Joss Reimer, Chief Medical Officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, spoke on Thursday about expanded wait times for walk-in clinics. Reimer said the move to extend clinic hours to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends will help relieve overwhelmed urgent care centres. Reimer added that 40 per cent of patients that visit urgent care could receive the same health care without the lengthy wait by visiting a walk-in clinic or doctor's office.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) says it’s expanding hours at five clinics across the city in an attempt to take the stress off wait-time backlogs at urgent care and emergency facilities.

The Walk-in Connected Care Clinics will now be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends — effectively doubling the number of daily available appointments from 150 to 300.

Dr. Joss Reimer, chief medical officer of health with the WRHA, said a significant percentage of people who visit a hospital could be instead treated through a walk-in or doctor’s office.

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“Every month, approximately 40 per cent of people who visit a Winnipeg urgent care centre or emergency department could receive the health care they need, often without the lengthy waits, through a walk-in clinic or doctor’s office,” said Reimer.

The clinics are available on a walk-in basis when you’re not able to see your primary care provider right away.

The health authority is also launching, as of Thursday, an updated website offering information and resources to help Winnipeggers decide on the best options to access the health care they need. The site will also display real-time wait information for the five walk-in clinics as well as local urgent care and emergency departments.

“By directing people to the right health-care service for their needs, and giving them information they need to make a decision about where to go for health-care services at their fingertips, we will be able to get the best possible care sooner to more people, and ultimately reduce the length of time people spend waiting for care,” said Reimer.


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