ARCOLA - The Arcola Health Centre experienced approximately 15 intermittent short-term closures due to staffing issues.
The rural healthcare has been in crisis, and according to the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, 83 per cent of Saskatchewan registered nurses reported vacancies in their workplaces.
Registered nurses in the rural areas are heavily relied on by physicians for their expertise and knowledge, and provide most of the firsthand care. Rural areas have been hit the hardest.
Sheila Sim, a member of the Arcola Health Centre recruitment and retaintion committee, said they do not want to wait until there is a tragedy because of these closures, or to see people turned away due to staffing issues.
This group began in July and letters were sent to all businesses and organizations to fundraise to retain their registered nurses that are already on staff.
They produced a long-term proactive plan of incentives for scholarships and bursaries to keep their nurses, to attract recent graduates and encourage local nursing students to stay in the Arcola area. They also want this program to be perpetual so it will continue for years. Once the nursing staff has been taken care of, other positions will also be included in this program.
This plan can only be successful with the financial support of local businesses and organizations.
The Arcola Co-op has agreed to donate $10,000 to this worthy campaign.
The committee’s goal for the year is $50,000, so they have a ways to go to get there. Sims are hoping that this is still possible.
Matthew Almey, the Arcola Co-op manager, feels strongly about this cause. He said healthcare in your hometown is the lifeline of the community and its businesses. It is a must need service to have.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has recently posted several full-time positions for RNs for the Arcola Health Centre.
These positions are new and are to help with the crisis in Arcola, so in the future there will be no more closures.
It is imperative that the positions be filled, not only for Arcola but other rural areas, to ensure proper health care and that staff are not overworked and burn out.
Arcola staff are doing their utmost to ensure that the doors remain open at all times, but in the end, there is only so much they can do as they also need time off.
If you wish to donate to this cause, contact the Arcola Health Centre Recruitment and Retention Committee.