Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman said during a press conference on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, that we might need to move an individual on a temporary basis and that we’re not there yet.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe elaborated on Merriman’s comments, saying right now hospital facilities in Saskatoon and Regina are operating after likely doing so slightly above their capacity.
“We may have to move some of our family members out into…a different location,” said Premier Moe. “For example, maybe a nearby rural community where we do have…beds available to ease some of the pressures and allow us to really utilize the full provincial capacity that we have as opposed to just the two largest centres.”
It was a decision that does not sit lightly to one rural leader. Humboldt, Sask., is one of the centres that the province is considering of utilizing patient transfers.
Humboldt Mayor Michael Behiel said it’s frustrating that the province can find the ability to download onto the rural centres, but when it comes to lobbying for resources, they are told they are best suited for urban centres rather than the rural areas.
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“This came up saying they’re going to dump patients to Humboldt, and I went, ‘You don’t want to give us anything to deal with…our issues of mental, addictions, homelessness,'” said Behiel.
It isn’t known when the possible patient transfers will happen, but the province said they will only activate these plans if absolutely necessary.
Hospitalizations have more than tripled since Jan. 1 and are expected to continue to climb into next month. According to the province, levels currently remain manageable.