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Sask. ER forced to use virtual care or face closure


The emergency room at the Radville Marian Health Centre has been forced to move to virtual doctor care or face closure thanks to a shortage of health-care workers, according to the Saskatchewan NDP.

An emergency meeting was held in the community Wednesday night to address the state of Radville’s healthcare, with the NDP saying the community’s emergency room is now facing a state of emergency itself.

The NDP says that virtual care was pitched to the health centre by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) as the only alternative to closing the emergency room.

During Question Period on Thursday, Minister of Rural and Remote Health Tim McLeod said they are currently addressing the situation with an aggressive action plan.

“This is not unique to Saskatchewan this is a problem that exists right across the country and North America and that’s why our government has a four-point action plan to address this situation,” McLeod said.

“We are recruiting, training and retaining and we are incentivizing positions under that plan and that is exactly what we are doing to address this concern,” McLeod added.

NDP leader Carla Beck said Radville has done everything possible to advocate for itself and health care needs but has been ignored by the province thus far.

“This is a crisis of the Sask. Party’s own making. They ignored the warning signs from local healthcare workers and now they’re ignoring the crisis in rural healthcare,” Beck said in a release.

McLeod said that over $22 million has been allocated for the continued implementation of over 250 new full time positions and to enhance current part time positions into full time jobs.

“There is also $11.9 million invested to continue supporting the work underway to recruit internationally trained health care workers, including regulatory assessments, navigator services and assessment support,” Mcleod said.

The province also pointed to the creation of a registered nurse travel pool worth $3.1 million to help mitigate rural and remote healthcare concerns.

Beck however said the investments and announcements are not working.

“The people that I met with in Radville last night are worried about healthcare, they want this premier to take action.”

Beck said a shortage of doctors and staff around Saskatchewan has led to emergency room closures three times in the past month.

Radville is located about 134 kilometers south of Regina. Top Stories

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