On May 10th, 2021, Manitoba’s Health and Seniors Care Minister pledged $4 million for a “state-of-the-art,” four bed “Enhanced Adult Epilepsy Monitoring Unit” at the Health Science Centre in Winnipeg.
That was one year ago.
Heather Stefanson said, “The expansion of the adult epilepsy monitoring unit at HSC Winnipeg is a pivotal step toward reducing the need for patients to leave their support network behind to receive care outside this province and toward decreasing costs for anti-epileptic medications – costs that can then be reinvested into providing care for Manitobans.”
Stefanson made neurological care sound akin to a warm and fluffy feather duvet. But it was a pilled blanket with holes. When it comes to neurological care, $4 million is a start. But an EMU has operating costs. Those state of the art beds need state of the art trained epilepsy nurses. The EEG nodules that map a patient’s brain alone are thousands of dollars.
There’s little doubt the pledge was made to appease an under count of 23,000 Manitobans living with seizures and epilepsy.
Six months after this pledge, Heather Stefanson was upgraded to premier of Manitoba. During the same time, the current adult EMU was graded as still closed.
Since Stefanson’s announcement, two neurosurgeons have left Manitoba. By the end of the year, two epileptologists are fleeing the province, which leaves Manitoba with two overwhelmed epileptologists responsible for hundreds of patients. Recently, the neurology clinic was moved to a smaller clinic at the Health Science Centre. Fitting, because the department is shrinking faster than Shrinky Dinks®.
After a wave of resignations from neurology in 2020, there are approximately 25 neurologists left Manitoba, a province of 1.3 million people. Besides seizures, neurologists diagnose and monitor patients with multiple scoliosis, brain tumours, lupus, fibromyalgia, and other neurological diseases.
Stefanson’s defence could be, “I wasn’t premier at the time,” throwing her predecessor Brian Pallister under the bus. Or “We’re in a pandemic,” or she’ll pass the concern to current Health Minister, Audrey Gordon. While Gordon is the new minister, Stefanson made the pledge.Continue reading “What Happened to Winnipeg’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – One Year Later and the Only Person to Benefit was Premier Stefanson”