Health centre in Leaf Rapids, Man., reopens early after closure

By | August 4, 2020

A northern Manitoba health centre that was closed temporarily has reopened early thanks to a partnership between two Indigenous organizations.

On Friday, the Northern Regional Health Authority announced the Leaf Rapids Health Centre would be closed for two weeks over flooding concerns and staffing issues.

However, the clinic opened on Tuesday thanks to Ongomiizwin-Health and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.

“There is a breakdown in the health system and this needs to be rectified immediately. MKO will continue to work with the Northern Health Region and the province to ensure the people of Leaf Rapids do not fall through the cracks,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee in an emailed statement.

The two organizations are ensuring a physician, two registered nurses and an occupational therapist are staffing the health centre for the rest of the week.

Glenn Hildebrand, a spokesperson for the health authority says the two organizations developed a COVID Rapid Response Team for use in the future.

“The closure [at Leaf Rapids] presented an opportunity to ‘test-drive’ deployment of the team. In this case, the team is providing primary services to cover the closure period,” he said in an email.

Although the health centre was closed, emergency services were still available during the closure, and all clinical care and support was provided through Lynn Lake or Thompson.

Hildebrand says there were five calls for emergency medical services during the period the health centre was closed.

CBC News has reached out to Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Ongomiizwin-Health for more details.

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