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Private MRIs reignite debate about Sask's public health care

As the Saskatchewan government reveals an application is in for a private MRI clinic, Health Minister Dustin Duncan is looking at patient choice while Opposition Leader Cam Broten wants all residents to have equal access to health services.

The application is for a clinic that would offer its services at a cost to patients. Duncan said the application was put in three weeks ago, but he wouldn't divulge which company made the application.

Flu clinic sees record numbers in Saskatoon

Friday is the last day to get immunized at Saskatoon's largest flu clinic, where more than 5,000 people were vaccinated on Thursday alone.

"So that was pretty much the highest number that we've done at Prairieland (Park) since our H1N1 days, which is pretty impressive," immunization manager at the Saskatoon Health Region, Sarah Skanderbeg, said.

Saskatoon doctor against private MRIs

A Saskatoon doctor hopes private MRIs stay far away from Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall suggested this week he was considering bringing private MRI clinics to the province.

Ryan Meili, a family doctor in Saskatoon and vice-chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, is concerned private clinics will take resources away from the public system.

Saskatchewan explains plans to fight Ebola

The province of Saskatchewan confirms a plan is in place and preparations are being made just in case Ebola spreads above the border.

Since August, the province has been working on a plan and has designated hospitals in Regina and Saskatoon to deal with it.

The province has also been sharing information with health care providers.

"Our priority right from the start was to get information out as quickly as possible so we could rapidly identify a person with a travel history who may have symptoms," said Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Denise Werker.

Visually-impaired maintain independence with technology through CNIB

New technology is literally changing how the visually impaired see the world.

Regina’s CNIB hosted an open house Thursday showcasing devices that allow those suffering from vision loss the ability to restore some of their sight.

Cecil Wilson has only about five per cent vision. He came to specifically look at a product called the eSight, which looks like a pair of sunglasses or goggles you wear on your head that magnifies objects.

UPDATE: Situation stable after suspected chemical spill at RUH

Saskatoon police, fire and Haz-Mat teams are wrapping up an investigation at Royal University Hospital after a suspected chemical spill.

A spokesperson with the Saskatoon Health Region says at about 3 p.m. on Thursday the hospital called a Code Brown alert evacuating a third-floor testing lab.  A Code Brown means the spill contained hazardous material. The lab was evacuated as a precaution.

The Saskatoon Fire Department said a staff member reported feeling nauseous after smelling a chemcial that was not used in the lab.

Saskatoon Health Region taking steps to fight Ebola

While the Ebola outbreak threatens parts of North America, the Saskatoon Health Region says steps are being taken to make sure if the virus hits Saskatoon, healthcare workers are protected and a plan is in place to stop its potential spread.

HSAS calls for review of rural ambulance services

The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) wants an independent review of ambulance services in rural communities because of staffing concerns in some health regions.

"(It's) just beyond belief that those people living in those areas in the event of an emergency may not have access to ambulance services," Karen Wasylenko, president of HSAS said.

UPDATE: Premier considers private MRI clinics to decrease wait times

Premier Brad Wall is floating the idea of allowing access to private MRI clinics in Saskatchewan to reduce wait times for diagnostic procedures.

On John Gormley Live Thursday, Wall said it's something that deserves "serious consideration."

Sask. classrooms take 'big crunch' for healthy eating

About 10,000 elementary school students across Saskatchewan sat down Thursday to eat a carrot together - all in the name of good health.

“Being more aware of growing your own foods and growing your own gardens is very important,” said Mrs. Jodi Ursan, grade 2/3 teacher at Regina's St. Michael Community School.

The event is called the Big Crunch and the idea behind it is to teach children about locally-grown food in celebration of World Food Day.

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