The Sunrise Health Region (SHR) is speaking about the suspension of the Preeceville emergency room (ER) and acute care services.
Last week around 75 people came from the town in east-central Saskatchewan to Regina to raise the issue of losing a facility they had only just fundraised $3.5 million dollars for.
Roberta Wiwcharuk, vice-president of integrated health services for SHR, insists the health region is focusing on recruitment, now and into the future.
“At this point it is temporary and we would have to look at how many providers we would have in that area and assess the needs and possibly look at alternate models of coverage in the meantime.”
While the town waits, the ER and acute care beds will revert to long-term care. Residents are fearful that they will never have ER services again because the health region won’t move seniors once they have settled.
“We would have a transition plan in place so that those residents wouldn’t be displaced,” Wiwcharuk maintains.
During their visit to the legislature, many in the town alleged that doctors have been forced to work elsewhere or work on contract when they would rather be under fee for service.
“There were physicians specifically recruited, but it was their choice where they would like to work,” Wiwcharuk answered in response to that allegation.
Wiwcharuk admits the temporary shutdown relies on a new foreign doctor passing the relevant assessments and for that there is no guarantee.