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Closure of women’s health centre ‘a great disservice,’ patients say – Manitoba

Heather Paterson burst into tears following her first appointment at Winnipeg’s Mature Women’s Health Centre.

Contending with critical submit-hysterectomy problems and sleeping little, Paterson, 61, stated the employees on the clinic invested hours in working up her full medical historical past of their effort to start out attending to the underside of her signs, ones her household physician was having hassle determining.

“‘What’s the matter,'” she says a nurse requested after seeing her cry. “Finally, somebody gets it,” Paterson responded.

Now, she and others are talking up within the wake of information the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority plans to shut the Victoria General Hospital-based clinic in October. Paterson’s been a affected person there for seven years. 

The WRHA is looking for $83 million in financial savings as half of a mandate handed down by the provincial authorities.

‘I feel that in the event that they’re solely saving $160,000, then they’re doing a great disservice to Manitoba women.’
– Heather Paterson, affected person

The centre, which offers with gynecological issues and menopause transition and different women’s providers, sees about 5,000 patients a yr. The WRHA says it can save $163,000 by shutting the clinic down – a determine Paterson suggests is peanuts in a health care finances of greater than $6 billion.

“I think that if they’re only saving $160,000, then they’re doing a great disservice to Manitoba women,” Paterson informed CBC News. “They’re cutting their nose off to save their faces.”

Paterson praised the “holistic” providers clinic employees offers beneath one roof. She described them as “essential” for the bodily and psychological health of women who’re patients there.  

“I can’t say enough good things about them in terms of the expertise and the interdisciplinary good care,” Paterson stated.

Carol-Ann Brody-Siemens informed CBC News her household physician referred her to the clinic after menopausal signs threw her health and high quality of life “out of whack.” She stated the remedy she’s acquired — hormone alternative remedy — has acquired her again on monitor.

“What I got from the mature women’s centre was the big picture and the qualifiers — they know what to look for if I’m having problems, which I’m not. I feel very confident. My health has improved and my quality of life is right back where it was before this all happened,” Brody-Siemens stated.

She stated her GP is a great physician, however she will’t ensure how present the household doctor is with obtainable remedies corresponding to HRT. Clinic employees can also be extraordinarily responsive and there isn’t any issues with wait occasions, she stated.

“I certainly won’t get the response from [my GP] as I get from the clinic. If I have a problem … they’re dealing with it right away,” Brody-Siemens stated.

She steered it will be one factor if there have been duplicate providers within the WRHA, however there aren’t. “Nobody in the city is doing this,” she stated.

‘It variety of looks like sending them into the abyss.’
– Dr. Rebecca Renkas

As a outcome of the closure, Dr. Rebecca Renkas will probably be out of a job.

And whereas she’s assured she is going to discover different work, her first concern is for the women the clinic serves. Planning their care and comply with-up remedy is a cornerstone of why the clinic works, she stated. 

“It kind of feels like sending them into the abyss,” stated Renkas. “From a doctor-affected person perspective, that feels terrible. And from a affected person-security perspective that does not’ really feel good both since you fear that a affected person may fall by means of the cracks.

Women with complicated instances can be provided providers at Winnipeg’s Health Science Centre. That’s not sitting nicely with all of them. (Media for Medical/UIG/Getty)

“I know their stories, I know their treatment plans, and I want to follow them up. And at this point, I can’t.” 

Renkas stated not all GPs are updated on present science and practices, and a few aren’t snug coping with the medical issues women, like Paterson, may deliver to them. 

She contends the clinic saves the province cash by diverting procedures away from working rooms and offering preventative health care to patients. Over time, Renkas predicts shuttering the clinic will value the province extra. 

‘”The remedies which are obtainable and the specialised experience which were offered will live on and might be out there to … present patients of the clinic in addition to the women who want the providers sooner or later 
–  Lynda Tjaden, WRHA program director for women’s health

The WRHA’s program director for women’s health stated that whereas the clinic could also be closing, the providers it at present gives will stay.

“The remedies which are out there and the specialised experience which were offered will live on and shall be out there to … present patients of the clinic in addition to the women who want the providers sooner or later, Lynda Tjaden stated.

After the closure, slated for Oct. 1, present patients might return to their GPs with a remedy plan, Tjaden stated. Others could be referred to a group gynecologist. Those with complicated care wants will be referred to medical specialists at Health Science Centre, Manitoba’s largest hospital, she stated.

“The level of clinical expertise for those really complex clients will continue.”

She stated she does not anticipate wait occasions for the providers will improve consequently of the closure. One of the objectives of the transition is to offer nearer-to-residence providers to women as is feasible.

Paterson stated she believes shifting some of the service to HSC might make it much less accessible as a result of parking within the space is “a nightmare.” 

Full coverage of health cuts in Manitoba

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