CancerCare Outpatient Services Survey

New Elmwood Residents’ comments below

Manitoba Legislature, Nov. 20, 2020

Jim presents a Petition to the Manitoba Legislature from a remote location on CancerCare Outpatient Services Closure.


On September 4, 2020, the Provincial Government announced that CancerCare Outpatient Services will be cut at the Concordia Hospital and Seven Oaks General Hospital, effective December 2020.

Closing two CancerCare sites in Winnipeg will increase the burden placed on outpatient cancer services at the Health Sciences Centre and Saint Boniface Hospital.

These out outpatient services cuts have provoked concerns from Winnipeg residents in the northeast and northwest quadrants, as well as healthcare workers who have told the Provincial Government the cuts are detrimental to the health of area residents.

Patients who do not have access to a vehicle or reliable transportation will be hit the hardest by this cut, with the burden falling largely on seniors and Manitobans on low incomes.

Cuts to northeast Winnipeg health care services, including the Provincial Government’s downgrade of Concordia’s Emergency Room to Urgent Care, have already compromised healthcare access close to home for residents of northeast Winnipeg.

We need to restore Concordia Hospital’s CancerCare Outpatient Services and lessen the burden of cuts on cancer patients in northeast Winnipeg.

What Elmwood residents are saying about the Cancercare OutPatient Services Closure at Concordia Hospital.

Here is just another example of penny wise, pound foolish. Gee, in the midst of all other things going on right now, let’s close access to Cancercare outpatient services and make very ill, stressed out people travel to HSC and St. Boniface. I am fed up with all these ill thought-out changes and the decision makers need to walk in these people’s shoes for a week. – S,M.

The city is expanding in this area and needs these services. R.M.

First our local emergency rooms, now Cancer Care? Grrrrr. -M.Y.

It is bad enough that they changed Concordia Hospital to Urgent Care. – C. A.

Anybody who has had to provide family support for a patient who has been in the hospital at St. Boniface Hospital or at the Health Sciences Centre understands the nightmare of a maze that confronts them when trying to access their family member. Driving in the areas of both hospitals and searching out parking is intimidating. Then manoeuvring your way through the hospital to the CancerCare area is exhausting. It’s hard to imagine the wait times that will build up at the two downtown hospitals with these closures. Closing neighbourhood hospital access to Cancer Care Outpatient Services shows a lack of empathy and concern for both the patient’s physical and mental health and for the individuals that make up the patient’s chain of support outside of the medical community – people who transport patients back and forth – family members who have to take time away from work to assist the patient. The transport time to and from the community hospitals is clearly less than to and from the downtown hospitals. If the Conservative governments continue this slash and burn approach to public health the neighbourhood hospitals will be reduced to treating ‘boo boos’ with bandages. That disrespects our ‘vaunted’ public health care system. – M.F.

The proposed closure of the CancerCare sites will put more stress and undue hardship on people already facing life changes. Having to travel across the city to get service when that service is being suspended closer to home makes no sense. If a patient needs additional service not available at their current location than only that patient should be sent to a different locale. Why group everyone together. The travel time to get to HSC and St Boniface Hospitals can be time consuming especially if busing it. Try getting parking at HSC or St Boniface. I have heard it’s a nightmare. I know HSC traffic is a bottleneck and they want a patient to have to deal with that stress as well. Why was HSC and St Boniface Hospitals the chosen two. Why not Concordia and Grace or Seven Oaks and Victoria hospitals. Why not leave things as they are. – J.R.

This area needs this support for our residents.  – R.P.

While this fortunately does not directly impact me, I think it is wrong to close these clinics. These patients are going through all sorts of trauma and health issues both mentally and physically and you expect them to navigate going to CancerCare by HSC is a daunting experience at best. Parking is very inconvenient and expensive and I am sure many could not walk as far as necessary when parking in a parkade or on the street. If it were me, I would much prefer a more familiar and accessible location such as my community hospital. For Concordia, that sounds like just another nail in the coffin. We have already lost the Emergency there and that is still a concern for the area residents, myself included. – C.R.

There are many people that live in Elmwood, East Kildonan, and North Kildonan and surrounding areas that have cancer, and needs a hospital closer to their home. Not miles away. -P.T.

This is putting costs before care. We should have policies that address what works best for the patient not the Provincial Bookkeeper. – M.H.

My husband did his treatments at Concordia. Now where will he go???? – W.C.

These closures and centralization of services make no sense in terms of efficiency or cost. What will the costs be to reopen closed facilities when this ill-conceived plan causes long wait times and compromises patient health. This false economy is particularly onerous during a pandemic. – M.S.

I would also like Emergency to be reinstalled in both Concordia and Seven Oaks. – O. & I.P.

Definitely not. Cancer patients are already under undue stress from diagnosis and treatment. Crowding into 2 hospitals makes NO SENSE, especially at this pandemic time. The increased travel from their homes into yet another unfamiliar institutional space is difficult at best; never mind when you’re battling cancer. Another attempt at centralizing services which never takes the quality of patient care into account. As a retired RN, I applaud our doctors, nurses , HCA’S, and all support staff in these times especially. The WRHA should never have taken “control.” Patient care declined after their onslaught of budgetary cuts including ridding the hospitals of LPN’s which also decreased quality of care for all. We were told to leave patients in wet diapers until the indicator stripes were AT LEAST 3/4 full! Which means people were supposed to be sitting in almost saturated diapers. I wonder what the cost savings were when you compare all the rash creams, lotions and antibiotics that were prescribed and paid for as a result of implementing this guideline. Mr. Premier, would you like to sit in a wet smelly diaper when you get older until someone decides to check your indicator stripes? Guess you won’t have to worry about that as well. – C.E.

I am sick and tired of this government methodically closing health services in the East Kildonan/Elmwood/ Transcona area’s. As a voter who has voted Conservative for over 60 years, this is going to end come next election. This is because I see stupidity in every decision on health care. – B.R.

Sad that the PC’s have cut cancer care at Concordia and seven Oaks Hospitals….health care needs to be expanded and never reduced or cut as our population grows. – W.V.


Are there any other sites across Winnipeg as the South or East or West have cancer care sites? I think to have a central site and bigger with more employees is more effective of taxpayers money. Cancer care do have many supports in place to address pts issues with travel and other needs. S.B.

When one is going for cancer treatment, one doesn’t want to spend a long time commuting back and forth spending hours in traffic. Plus at HSC parking is at a premium and the cost for parking is ridiculous. It’s a crime to how much money is being made off of cancer patients who have to pay for parking. And now with COVID, one can’t even go into the hospital with a love one to take them to the treatment area when they are feeling weak and very sick. There is a lack of caring and compassion when it comes to this government and the present health care officials. – D.A.