The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) Chiefs held a rally today in Eriksdale, Manitoba to stop the closure of the Eriksdale Hospital Emergency Room and Diagnostics Centre. They are calling on the provincial government and the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority to listen to their concerns on behalf of IRTC’s Member First Nation communities who rely on urgent care and emergency services at this hospital.
“Hallway medicine is not acceptable as our only option. We need emergency, diagnostic, X- ray, and primary care services to continue to be available in Eriksdale”, says Lake Manitoba First Nation Chief Cornell McLean. Chief McLean further states “IRTC communities cannot continue to see closures and cutbacks to health services”.
The Provincial Government has been transitioning services from the Eriksdale Hospital to the Ashern Hospital. They further plan to cancel emergency services in Eriksdale. This decision will be detrimental to the already limited access to health care for First Nations people in the Interlake.
“We can’t keep shutting down Hospitals and Wellness Centers. As citizens, why isn’t this a priority, when we’re coming out of a health crisis,” says Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.
“We’re all human beings, we need to keep this hospital open, I had nothing but good experiences at this location. Our families prefer to come to Eriksdale Hospital before other locations,” says Dauphin River First Nation Chief Lawrence Letander.
IRTC is calling on the Provincial Government to meet up with the promise of Truth and Reconciliation and to find options that leave Eriksdale Hospital health services open.
For media enquiries please contact Karl Zadnik, CEO of IRTC at Karlzadnik@irtc.ca