The Manitoba government is adding new acute care beds to help improve patient care at Grace Hospital and reduce congestion in its emergency department.

Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara made the announcement Wednesday saying the new beds will ease the wait times that patients encounter every day. 

“The changes will provide patients with high-quality care in hospital beds when they need it most and will reduce the chaos created by systemic underinvestment in the health-care system in recent years,” said Asagwara.

The province will start by adding 10 new medicine beds and 11 surgical beds (including five announced on Nov. 17) at Grace Hospital before the end of the fiscal year. Another 10 medicine beds will be added in 2024-25.

Minister Uzoma Asagwara says this phased-in approach will help ensure the beds are resourced and staffed as they come online. 

“This new medicine unit is precisely what Grace Hospital needs to provide the best care possible,” said Dr. Ramin Hamedani, chief medical officer at Grace Hospital.

The province says this is the first step in a broader strategy to increase the number of acute beds at various hospitals throughout the health care system.

“Increasing the bed base is fundamental to the success of the health system and this is an excellent start that will have an immediate and tangible impact on care,” said Mike Nader, president and CEO, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “Together with the Manitoba government’s recent announcement about expanding allied health services to seven days a week, we are taking important steps toward building an environment that will allow emergency departments to have the space and capacity to meet the demands we are facing.