Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk: ‘Our government is committed to having a CT Scanner in Moosomin’

March 25, 2024, 2:17 pm
by Ashley Bochek and Kevin Weedmark

<b>Bonk says government committed to CT Scanner</b> Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk told World-Spectator reporter Ashley Bochek that the provincial government is committed to bringing a CT Scanner to Moosomin.</b>

Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk said he is excited about the prospect of a CT Scanner for the Moosomin region.

“I’m extremely excited about the CT scanner coming to Moosomin,” he told the World-Spectator following the provincial budget Wednesday. “Our government has committed to having a CT scanner in Moosomin and working with the local community. It falls outside the regular procurement process due to the fact that the Health Foundation has already raised so much money towards it. We will work towards a path forward on how we can make this work in a way that is best for the community as well as falling under the SHA requirements.

“At this stage, what we’re looking at, is the community or the Health Care Foundation, or an interested party, would purchase and run the CT business. SHA is looking at buying or contracting CT scans from that private company and staffing it with SHA workers.”

Bonk said it could be a problem having the CT Scanner within the Southeast Integrated Care Centre if the company that owns it wants to provide private scans.

“It could be a problem and we’re looking at that now,” he said. “That’s one of the things that we’re not exactly sure of yet because there are some concerns around the unionized and non-unionized workers and Collective Bargaining Agreements. But we know it’s in the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan to have a CT scanner in Moosomin and especially to have it in the hospital so that it will dovetail nicely with the air ambulance, for example, for stroke victims and trauma victims.

“We’re looking at all options at the moment and we’ve asked the community to come forward with a business proposal. With that, the Ministry of Health will look at that and decide what is the best way to move forward with this project, but we are committed to working with the community mostly to make sure that a CT scan does end up in Moosomin.”

Bonk said the government had to come up with a creative solution for Moosomin

“Moosomin is not completely compliant with some of the requirements of the SHA for a CT Scanner. This proposal, which comes from the Moosomin Health Care Foundation, in conjunction with the doctors in Moosomin, falls outside our normal process.

“So that’s why we’re trying to make a framework, so that if other communities in Saskatchewan have fundraising efforts and they want to place some sort of diagnostic imaging equipment in their community, this way we can work with SHA to identify the needs in that area instead of health foundations going off on their own and deciding what they need. If they can collaborate with the SHA I think we could have a much better, much more efficient system.

“This isn’t unusual where communities are raising money on their own for this equipment, we’re trying to make a framework like I mentioned, so that the communities, before they decide what to buy, they’re talking with SHA to make sure that it’s needed in that area. That was a bit of a concern, we didn’t want to set a precedent where Moosomin said that they wanted a CT scanner so the Health Foundation went out and bought one and then the SHA says, ‘Oh, but we could’ve used this more.’ We need to make sure that we’re doing everything as efficiently and as helpful to the province as we can.

“This proposal came together by the good work of Dr. Wessel Roets, the Moosomin Health Foundation, Bill McPherson, Mayor Larry Tomlinson and the Community Builders’ Alliance. This has been a long time coming but we’ve worked really well together and with the SHA, and in particular the ministers in the Ministries of Health and of Rural and Remote Health to make sure that this happens. A lot of people did a lot of work behind the scenes for a long time to get to where we are today.

“They were just excellent to work with. I have to give them credit because they didn’t let this die either. They worked when I didn’t even know that they were working on it. So I really appreciate their efforts.”

Bonk said Moosomin will be a pilot project for a framework that could be rolled out across the province.

“Speaking with the minister yesterday when we had a meeting with all of the partners in Moosomin, he indicated they do want to use us more as a pilot project, because this is the first of this particular situation to happen and it’s going to be in Moosomin. So they have a vested interest in making sure that this is a success so we want to make sure that we have all of the pieces in place and that we’re working with the local community and the local organizations, with SHA and the Ministry of Health to make sure that this is successful.”

He said the plan was welcomed by community leaders.

“We had a productive meeting. I think everyone was very happy that this project is going ahead. We’re still working out some details of the process of how it will happen and what exactly the model will be, but the fact that our government has committed to making this work, I think was well received by everyone.”