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Kamsack Hospital may soon begin process of re-opening

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said it is planning to open four Alternate Level of Care (ALC) and one palliative care beds in the next month, contingent upon staffing levels.
Kamsack Hospital web
Depending on staffing levels, the Saskatchewan Health Authority plans to open four Alternate Level of Care (ALC) and one palliative care beds at the Kamsack Hospital in the next month.

KAMSACK — Within the next couple weeks, Kamsack area residents may be able to begin using the Kamsack Hospital as the facility they had been accustomed to have in the past.

A demonstration was held at the hospital on July 14 after it was learned that the provincial government had decided to shut down all acute care beds at the Hospital and the emergency room would only operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., causing CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) to say that “our health care system is fraying.”

Demonstrators had voiced their concerns and carried placards saying “Don’t shut us down. Help,” “Kamsack people and Indigenous people matter,” and “Our health care matters. Keep our Hospital.”

Speaking at the demonstration were Everett Hindley, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and of Rural and Remote health, and Terry Dennis, Canora-Pelly MLA, who pledged they would be “working hard” to “get the beds re-opened.”

It was later learned that by Sept. 19, emergency services were being provided from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, while x-ray services were provided by appointment only.

Asked last week if she had received any additional information regarding the status of the Hospital, Kamsack Mayor Nancy Brunt said that all she knew was that “we are getting four (ALC) alternate level of care beds and one palliative bed on Nov. 6.”

“The SHA [Saskatchewan Health Authority] is planning to open four Alternate Level of Care (ALC) and one palliative care beds in the next month, contingent upon staffing levels and outbreak management in order to maintain safe and sustainable operation of those beds,” said a release from a SHA spokesperson. “Our goal remains to restore and stabilize services at the Kamsack Hospital as soon as human resource challenges can be adequately addressed.

“Similar to other locations provincially and nationally, staffing levels remain challenging so the SHA continues to work with many partners to recruit health professionals in many different disciplines to achieve sustainable care,” the release said.

“Assisting in this capacity is the Government of Saskatchewan's recently announced Health Human Resources Action Plan,” it said. “The plan helps address the staffing challenges that Kamsack and other communities across Saskatchewan are currently facing. As part of this action plan, the SHA hopes to recruit a number of permanent, full-time nursing staff from the Philippines.

“New, targeted incentives will also assist the SHA with recruitment from within Saskatchewan,” the release said. “We will continue to update residents on the bed openings as information becomes available.”

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