The AMC Calls on Province to Reconsider Decision to Close E.M. Crowe Memorial Hospital in Eriksdale, MB

Press Release

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) supports the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council in calling on Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Shared Health Manitoba to recall the decision to close E.M. Crowe Memorial Hospital in Eriksdale, MB, after it has been ‘temporarily closed’ for the past few months.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are once again disappointed, but not surprised, that such detrimental decisions are being made without consulting the First Nations it will affect. It is a pattern of neglect that our communities continue to experience. The closure of the hospital in Eriksdale will mean that First Nation citizens will be forced to travel further to find the healthcare they need. This decision will predominately affect the citizens of Pinaymootang First Nation, Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, and Lake St. Martin First Nation.

“It is clear this province is suffering in terms of hospital staff shortages, wait times, surgery cancellations, and more,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “We are tired of seeing the burden of a structural healthcare issue being put on First Nations. Even before the pandemic, there were issues regarding accessibility, quality, and emergency care. Our citizens deserve access to adequate and required healthcare, and lives are on the line.”

The AMC hopes that Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Shared Health Manitoba can find a solution that would benefit all those that the Eriksdale Hospital serves, such as contracting private lab/diagnostic such as Dynacare to assist with the capacity strains. This was done at some hospitals during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. This would be far more cost-effective to the healthcare system then transferring First Nation citizens via Non-Insure Health Benefit coverages to receive care. The government must make it a priority to find alternate options as this closure is not an option any longer.

“The government said that the Eriksdale Hospital would only be closing temporarily. Now we see that services are being redirected, and that doesn’t make sense,” says Lake Manitoba First Nation Chief Cornell McLean, “We want the truth about the state of the hospital, as 15,000 First Nations citizens depend on it for health care. The well-being of our people is on the line.”

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For more information, please contact:

Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Email:  [email protected]

IHT5

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