Town pens letter of concern to health minister over ER closure

October 13, 2021, 1:54 pm
Kara Kinna

The 24-hour emergency service and acute care services at the Redvers Health Centre have been closed since September 24 and the town is pushing to have it reopened as soon as possible.

At their council meeting on Wednesday, Redvers Town Council passed a motion to send a letter of concern to Saskatchewan Minister of Health Paul Merriman regarding the suspension of 24-hour emergency and acute care services at the Redvers Health Centre.

The services have been unavailable as of September 24, with SHA announcing they would be closed until further notice.

“We are writing to you to express our frustration with the current shut down of the Emergency Room and Acute Care provided by the Redvers Health Centre,” wrote the town in their letter. “The South East Medical Group and Redvers Health Foundation have been actively trying to work with the SHA to find solutions to this problem, while feeling as if their ideas are falling on deaf ears.

“The Redvers Hospital was built to serve Redvers and the surrounding communities, who all rely on the services it provides, including Emergency Services, Acute Care, Long Term Care and two clinics. Being a relatively new hospital, it is very concerning to see the doors closed. Particularly at a time when beds are in demand. It is our understanding there are no available ICU beds in South East Saskatchewan at the time of writing this letter.

“With its closure, it leaves vulnerable a large number of our elderly population, who rely on a nearby facility to receive care. A major draw to our community for retirees is a hospital with Emergency and Acute Care directly across the street from senior housing. Continuous care is vital to an aging community, and most patients prefer to deal with their family physician, whom they trust, and know their medical history.

“Under these circumstances, if an emergency were to occur, patients are looking at a minimum 45-minute drive to the nearest ER. This does not include waiting time for ambulance service, or the fact that a number of these patients do not have access to independent transportation to receive care somewhere else. Not to mention the countless families with small children that depend on local care as well as our area being rich in oil and agricultural industries that have relied on our 24-Hour Emergency for accidents in the past few years.

“We are urging you to look into this matter, and rectify this situation. The Town of Redvers has a beautiful, functioning facility, with a great staff, but it requires leadership, and a continuous recruitment program to sustain. We would encourage you to be creative in your recruitment efforts for rural communities, and realize that some tactics that work in Regina or Saskatoon may not always work for facilities outside the city. We have many volunteers working tirelessly to keep this hospital open, and have fought to keep this facility open in the past. Solutions are possible, but we need your support.”
At the meeting Wednesday, Mayor Brad Bulbuck said it was important for the town to work with the government and SHA to offer solutions and come up with a plan to help get the ER back open.

The town has also started a petition to reopen 24-hour emergency service and acute care. The petition is available at the Redvers town office and the library.