KAMSACK — Effective July 13, emergency and inpatient services at the Kamsack Hospital will be available only from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, according to a memo sent to hospital staff and physicians by Tish Johnson, Health Services Manager on June 29.
Emergency services will not be available at the facility at any other time, Johnson said. Inpatient services will not be available at the facility.
“Due to a shortage of nursing, lab and Physician staffing in Kamsack, we are unable to support the current acute care services,” she said. “The realignment of health services to support patient care is required. Recruitment is ongoing, services will resume as staffing is recruited.
“Primary care, lab, x-ray, and long term care services in Kamsack will not be affected.
“The public will be advised that in the event of an emergency outside of Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to call 9-1-1 or visit the emergency department in Canora, Kelvington, Wadena or Yorkton. Non-urgent health related questions can be directed to the provincial HealthLine by calling 8-1-1.”
Service disruptions can be found on the service alerts page of the Saskatchewan Health Authority website.
The lack of service at the Kamsack Hospital has arguably been the most talked about topic in Kamsack for the past while.
Terry Dennis, Canora-Pelly MLA, was confronted with such questions when he attended the Canada Day celebration in Kamsack, and town council at its meeting of June 27, accepted a letter from residents of Davies Towers in Kamsack and the Kamsack Hospital Auxiliary. Council said it is forwarding the letters to Dennis; Paul Merriman, Minister of Health; Everett Hindley, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health, and Premier Scott Moe.
“I’m not happy with the hospital situation,” Mayor Nancy Brunt said last week. “We’re all concerned about the repercussions of the closure.”
Brunt said she recently sent Hindley 50 pages of signatures of district residents who were concerned about the situation.
“The tenants of Davies Towers come to you with this letter to express our deep concern about the staff shortages and bed closures in our hospital,” said the letter written by Margaret (Mugs) Tysowski on behalf of the Davies Towers Association. “We know that this is a concern for our community as a whole.
“We trust that you are continuing in your efforts to deal with this critical issue,” Tysowski said. “May you be encouraged and have wisdom in your strategies. We also thank you for all you’ve done so far on our behalf.”
Diane Belovanoff, president, and Marjorie Orr, secretary of the Kamsack Hospital Auxiliary, expressed similar sentiments in their letter to council.
“The auxiliary has provided generous financial support to purchase equipment and furnishings for various departments as well as compassion and comfort needs to inpatients (ie: TV sets in each room),” the auxiliary’s letter states.
“It seems a deplorable situation to know that our ill patients are being sent out to other locations for treatment when we have the facilities right here,” it says. “Understandably, staff shortage is a problem.
“The auxiliary’s financial situation is primarily dependent on donations from the public, and in the past year, our expenditures exceeded $200,000 on equipment and employment incentives,” it said. “Any further equipment expenditures will be very cautiously considered until his hospital can be running more to capacity.
“Please do as much as you can to lobby the powers that be to reopen some beds and attract staff,” it said. “We are willing to provide some incentive to applicants in either nursing, lab or x-ray departments.”