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'We've got a bottleneck': ER congestion causing problems for Cupar EMS


Paramedics in small town Saskatchewan have warned that a lack of medical personnel in rural areas coupled with congestion in Regina emergency rooms is putting patients at risk.

This concern is being voiced in the community of Cupar, which has no doctor and no hope of getting one.

“The College [Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons] is not going to go for that because they discourage, I don’t even think you can be a rural solo practitioner any longer,” Cupar Mayor Val Orb told CTV News on Wednesday.

A community run ambulance service is the lifeline for emergency care in Cupar. However, the service can be tied up for hours with a patient at an emergency room in Regina due to offloading delays.

“We have to wait until there is an open room basically so we’re waiting eight hours sometimes,” Dustin Cappelle, an emergency worker in the community explained.

“I know there are lots of Regina units there as well but when we’re gone there’s nobody else out here so another town will have to cover our service.”

According to Steve Boha, the chair of the Cupar Ambulance Board, that simply shouldn’t happen.

“So I think we’ve got a bottleneck there that has to be looked at,” Boha said.

“You know let’s get our ambulances out [to] where they’re needed.”

The Saskatchewan NDP kicked off its “Healthcare Solutions Tour” on Wednesday. The first stop on the official opposition’s fact finding mission was Cupar.

“We learned a lot and certainly we’re just here to meet with these local leaders face to face, hear about their concerns,” NDP MLA and rural health critic Matt Love.

The challenges faced by rural ambulance services will be just one of the issues explored by the NDP on this fact finding mission.

The findings and the solutions offered will be forwarded to the government and made public at the end of the tour. Top Stories

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