Patients in SHR voluntarily moving to rural hospitals

The Saskatoon Health Region is transferring some patients who give their permission to rural hospitals to free up beds in Saskatoon. File / Global News

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) has been transferring some seniors to rural hospitals to free up beds in Saskatoon. Officials said it is being done with the patients consent.

According to SHR officials, in order to meet acute care needs in the city, only patients that have given their permission have been moved to a rural acute care setting while waiting for a long-term bed.

On Tuesday, the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan raised the issue. Officials with the health region said the practice began three weeks ago when capacity spiked and moves have been voluntary up to this point in time.

“As we look at our predictive modelling and what our capacity and our care needs will be we’re seeing quite an increase in our demand in December and even significantly more in January,” said Diane Shendruk, who is with integrated health services with SHR.

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“In order to serve the population it may be come mandatory to move people waiting for long-term care beds.”

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Incentives provided by the region to those who agree include waiving three months of long-term care fees and providing transportation to family members who want to visit.

Typically, 30 to 35 beds are available at its six rural care hospitals, according to officials.

Sixty-one people are currently on the waiting list for a long-term care bed.

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