The residents of Preeceville have been fighting a long battle to have restored at their hospital and the fight is still far from over.

Last year, the hospital had enough staff to return full emergency services. But, this week the community learned it doesn’t have enough staff to bring back acute care.

The lack of care at the hospital was discussed during the bear pit session at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association’s annual meeting in Regina earlier this week.

“We were promised by Premier Wall that the 10 acute beds would return to acute,” said councillor Stacey Strykowski. “We just asked Premier Moe if he would follow through with that.”

The answer wasn’t what Preeceville town council was hoping for.

Greg Ottenbreit, minister in charge of rural and remote health, said an increase in the number of acute care beds isn’t in the works.

“It may be difficult to get to the point of having 10 permanent acute care beds without an expansion of physicians, or physicians that are able to take on those services,” he said.

At one point, the hospital was down to just one doctor. It has managed to increase that to three and some services have returned to the town thanks to that increase.

“We’ve expanded the emergency services to 12 hours a day, with support from EMS overnight when the need arises,” Ottenbreit said.

Council said it still wants to see the return of acute care beds to the hospital, instead of sending patients to other communities.

“Anybody who is stable can stay here,” Strykowski said. “Unstable needs to go further on to Canora.”

The health centre currently employs three doctors and one registered nurse. It can offer emergency services at certain points in the day, but the Preeceville health focus group still says it would like to see more done.

With files from CTV Yorkton's Cole Davenport