09/15/2011 12:25 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:10 EST

Manitoba Liberals prescribe urgent care hospital rooms to ease wait times

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say urgent care facilities beside every hospital emergency room would help reduce wait times.

Party leader Jon Gerrard, who is a doctor, says it would cost $18 million in the first year and would keep patients with less serious injuries out of emergency rooms.

He says that would be good for ER staff and translate into shorter wait times.

The new urgent care rooms would operate 24 hours a day.

Gerrard made the announcement at the south-Winnipeg campaign office of candidate Linda Minuk.

Minuk, a lawyer, is facing off against incumbent Tory Heather Stefanson in the Oct. 4 provincial election.