WINNIPEG — Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg is receiving $3.5 million from the province to hire additional staff and create a new addictions unit.
The investment will see the hiring of more addictions, mental health and security staff within HSC’s emergency department.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the new unit will include six additional beds and two safe seclusion rooms used to stabilize patients with severe alcohol or drug intoxication, as well as meth-associated psychosis. It will also include addiction outreach workers hired to support those discharged from the unit.
“The high volume of patients needing addictions and mental health supports continues to put pressure on services and our communities,” said Friesen.
“By investing in additional clinical staff specializing in substance use, addictions and mental health within HSC’s emergency department, we will improve patient care and emergency wait times for these patients. This fulfils our government’s commitment to provide a safer environment for patients and those working in or visiting the hospital.”
The province says the additions will reduce wait times at HSC by six percent.
“The funding will be essential to improving wait times for assessments, reducing the length of stay of intoxicated and mental health patients in emergency and ensuring they get timely access to community resources,” said Dr. Jitender Sareen, provincial specialty lead for mental health and addiction, Shared Health.