Sask. Health Authority to Re-Open Nine of Twelve ER Departments Starting in Mid-June

Starting in mid-June, and in subsequent weeks, ER departments in 9 of the 12 communities affected will re-open.
Other areas include Kerrobert, Herbert, Preeceville, Wolseley, Arcola, Davidson, Biggar, Leader and Oxbow. The first opening will be in Arcola mid-June with others to follow.
In a statement, the Saskatchewan Health Authority says they “will be working with the remaining three other community hospitals that will require additional time – Broadview, Radville and Lanigan”
Health Minister Jim Reiter says there wasn’t a timeline in place until now of when these facilities will reopen due to various factors, such as training of staff and physicians, cohorting of staff, and minimal prevalence of COVID-19 in the community or surrounding communities.
The initial announcement, however, of temporarily closing emergency departments in these areas, in order to increase capacity in the event of a surge of COVID-19 infections, did not go over so well, with some believing this would lead to permanent closures.
Premier Scott Moe clarified that is not the case and acknowledged this is a sensitive topic among rural areas.

“I don’t think it’s that we have not forseen, or in any way thought that this wouldn’t be a sensitive decision, this was a very challenging decision. But it was one that is necessary in order for us to ultimately prepare and address our response to COVID(-19)” Moe explained.
The news comes after a Facebook group concerned about healthcare in rural Saskatchewan were talking about trying to stage a rally next month in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature. That group had said they were concerned these temporary closures could become permanent and that it might be something many remember come election time.
(With files from CKRM)

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