04/26/2017 17:11 EDT | Updated 04/26/2017 17:21 EDT

Nurses rally against health cuts in Winnipeg, say they worry for patient care

WINNIPEG — Hundreds of nurses gathered at the Manitoba legislature protesting cuts to health services.

The rally on Wednesday afternoon brought attention to the recent closures of emergency room departments and other healthcare cuts.

The nurses union said they are concerned patient care could be compromised by reductions to front-line services.

The province has directed all departments to eliminate 15 per cent of management positions.

It has also told the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to cut their annual budget by three per cent or $83 million.

Three of Winnipeg’s six emergency rooms are closing down, which the province says will improve patient care and reduce hospital wait times.

“I have not yet figured out how that’s going to happen,” said Sandi Mowatt, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.

“Hopefully (the province) will agree to talk to us. It’s important that they actually listen to what the front-liners are telling them.”

The Tories have repeatedly promised not to cut any front-line positions, despite the ambitious fiscal and restructuring goals.