Tag Archives: Rural

Media Release: Chipping Away What is Happening to our Rural Health Care Services?

For Immediate Release – July 20, 2012

 Craik – SEIU-West members and leaders grow ever more concerned about future access to quality, comprehensive, and timely health care services in rural Saskatchewan.  Yesterday’s announcement that residents in the community of Craik will be losing emergency services on July 25 is yet another recent example our resources are being chipped away resulting in a loss of services or disruption to them.

“We all know that emergencies occur in rural communities whether they be related to motor vehicle accidents, farm mishaps or injuries on the oil patch; it is alarming when our only option for emergency services is the built-in delay associated with travelling to another community that remains fortunate enough to still have a doctor,”  said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “When it is your family member or your neighbour, you really begin to understand the precious value of those added minutes or hours to receive the needed care and treatment”.

The Craik Health Centre presently has one Physician and a Nurse Practitioner.  They have offered medical services to a population of approximately 500 residents in the community and surrounding area since the Health Centre became operational in 1993.  Prior to this, there was a hospital in Craik.

The Five Hills Health Region has indicated that they are taking considerable efforts to recruit a Physician.

Banks adds, “I think it’s important to understand that our failed Doctor recruitment strategy is effecting a whole host of rural communities in the province. We can name Leader, Shaunavon, Rosetown, Wakaw, and so many more communities that have endured a loss of or disruption of services.  It makes residents very nervous.  We really do need a better solution for the citizens of our province”.

Cheryl Meska, a member of SEIU-West who works at the Craik Health Centre reports, “While our members who are working at the Health Centre have suffered no loss of employment, the big picture remains an uncertainty for all those who live and work in the community of Craik.  We really do need a doctor, sooner as opposed to later”.

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, and administrative staff, among others.

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For more information, contact:

Shawna Colpitts, Director of Political Action & Education
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2224

Click on the link below for a printable PDF version of this week:

Media Release – What is Happening to our Rural Health Care Services

 

 

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Media Release: More Doctor Woes for Rural Health Care Services in Saskatchewan

For Immediate Release – June 28, 2012

Saskatoon – Over 200 community members attended a public meeting in Wynyard on June 26, 2012 to get information about yet another critical doctor shortage and the impact it will have on hospital services in the East Central area of Saskatchewan. The meeting in Wynyard, hosted by the Saskatoon Health Region, was the second of 2 meetings held, the first was in Wadena.

Health Region officials informed the crowd that the entire area is facing several physician vacancies. Two Doctors will be leaving Wadena, one on July 10, and the other on August 30, 2012 adding to the already doctor-shy Wynyard which is down 3 physicians and Humboldt’s 5 existing physician vacancies.

“We need a Province- wide recruitment solution for rural Saskatchewan that works” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Clearly, the current recruitment strategy isn’t working well. We are definitely concerned about the level of care the residents of rural Saskatchewan will be able to access”.

Currently, Wadena and Wynyard work on an Emergency By-pass system where if one Emergency room is open the other is closed and vice-versa. Residents were told that if the Wadena physician vacancies are not filled it will likely cause the both emergency rooms to close as early as September 1, 2012.

“We were told that Wynyard has 2 Nurse Practitioners working as part of the Medical delivery service, but their scope of practice isn’t wide enough to ensure that these emergency services are kept open,” said Blair McDaid, SEIU-West Union Representative, who was at the meeting in Wynyard.

“This story is all too familiar in rural Saskatchewan,” says Janice Platzke, SEIU-West Treasurer, “for the last 18 months, the Cypress Health Region has been facing the same type of closures with no real solutions.”

“The fact of the matter is that when an Emergency Room is closed, it stretches the EMS providers who will be required to drive further and will delay vital emergency care and response time,” continued Cape. “When are the Health Regions and the Provincial Government going to come up with a plan that works for rural Saskatchewan? This seems to be yet another example of Band-Aid solutions for a critical wound to public healthcare”.

SEIU-West represents approximately twelve thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

 

Click on the link below for a printable PDF version of this release:

Media Release: More Doctor woes for Rural Health Care Services in Saskatchewan

 

 

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Health Care workers optimistic about NDP platform

Saskatoon – Members of Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) were present as Dwain Lingenfelter and Judy Junor announced the Sask NDP health care platform this morning outside of Primary Health Centre South East in the riding of Saskatoon Eastview.

Highlights of the plan include a focus on community-centered care, additional funding to strengthen emergency room staffing and equipment as well as an investment in physician recruitment.

“We are relieved to see that the NDP platform contains a plan to manage the gaps in rural health care,” said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “We see this as a plan that is not only practical, but sustainable.”

The NDP is proposing a Community Access Hospital model that would see an increased role for Nurse Practitioners and a pool of Doctors who would be available to assist as needed. This would allow the existing rural hospitals which have been shut down or have seen disruptions of services to be repurposed with a more diverse health care team and better services.

“This would definitely keep our communities healthy in more ways than one,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “It’s no secret that we support publicly administered, delivered and funded health care, and this plan delivers all of that. In recent years, very little has been done to address critical retention and recruitment issues in too many classifications. It is our hope that this platform will involve a broader perspective of the health care team. Our current provincial government has diverted funding in support of private sector options. This will inevitably increase the cost given the need to protect a profit margin. In the case of Regina health region, data indicates that fewer public sector surgeries have been performed as a result of the work being done in a private surgery center. A better alternative would be to invest in smaller centres across the province to ensure ready access to diagnostic and surgical services as spelled out in the NDP Platform.”

The platform would reinstate chiropractic care coverage, increase funding for midwifery services, speech and occupational therapists, and address programming and equipment for childhood disabilities.

“Rest assured that we will be holding their feet to the fire when it comes to these promises. It’s up to us as the voters and working people of this province that our next provincial government has our best interests at heart when they are making their decisions,” said Banks.

SEIU-West supports the model of ensured access to high quality public sector health care services across the province in both rural and urban centres.

SEIU-West represents over 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan. As well, SEIU-West represents employees working in the following sectors: Education, Municipal, Community-Based Organizations and Allied.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250.

Download the PDF of this release: Media Release 20111012 health care platform final

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Disparity in Rural Health

Do you live in Rural Saskatchewan?

Are you concerned about the current state of health and medical care services in Saskatchewan?

Join the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw, Cudworth and Surrounding Towns and Rural Municipalities on September 10, 2011 at the Wakaw Recreation Centre.

Presentations will start at 1 pm with discussion to follow.

More information and contact names are available in the Invitation to a Provincial Gathering.

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Wakaw & Community Takes Their Concerns to the Health Minister

Regina – A group known as the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw joined with SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union) members today and travelled to Regina to tell the Minister of Health that the Wakaw Hospital needs to be re-opened. The Wakaw Hospital has been closed since the end of March due to a physician shortage and area residents are concerned that a lengthy closure will result in more health professionals leaving the area.

Concerned Citizens of Wakaw outside the Legislature“Our community places a high value on keeping our hospital open,” said Paul Danis, a member of the Concerned Citizens group. “Given that the Minister of Health chose not to attend either of our large community meetings to discuss potential solutions, despite being invited, we decided to bring our message directly to him here at the Legislature. We are worried about the implications of this ongoing closure, especially if existing Wakaw Hospital employees are issued layoff notices which would serve as yet another obstacle to re-opening our hospital. We need the provincial government to demonstrate some leadership on this file.”

Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West, agreed that an indefinite closure could force many hospital employees to leave the Wakaw area to find alternate work and joined the Concerned Citizens group in calling for the Minister of Health to take immediate action. SEIU-West, has been working with our members and the community group in an effort to put forward alternate strategies to the Saskatoon Health Region.

Group Shot of Road Trip members from Wakaw and surrounding area “The Wakaw Hospital is important to area residents and SEIU-West is committed to working with the community to re-open that hospital to ensure provision of important health care services in that region,” Cape said. “While the community has held public meetings and we have taken the ideas from those meetings forward in our discussions with the Saskatoon Health Region, it’s clear that we will need leadership from the Sask Party government in order to re-open the Wakaw Hospital. The longer the hospital remains closed, the more challenging it will be to re-open it. Community members and health care providers deserve better and that’s why we’ve come to the Legislature today.”

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

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 CONTACT:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

For a PDF version of this release, click on the following link:

Media Release: Wakaw & Community Takes Their Concerns to the Health Minister

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Celebrate EMS Week

Emergency Medical Services Week May 2011

SEIU-West is proud to recognize all of our Emergency Medical Services members.

They provide critical and indispensable services to our Saskatchewan’s health care sector.

Please, when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror, move safely to the side of the road to let them pass.

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Media Advisory – Road Trip to Legislature

Members of SEIU-West will join community groups and Wakaw residents on a road trip to the legislature as they further their combined efforts to save the Wakaw hospital.

The group intends to share their concerns with the Health Minister. Wakaw is yet another rural hospital to be targeted for closure due to a shortage of doctors. This will affect a number of communities in the area and force people to travel longer distances to receive emergency care when time is of the essence.

SEIU-West represents approximately 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan.

Who:

Wakaw & Area Community Members together with SEIU-West Members, Representatives and Leadership

Date:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time:

9:00 a.m. Bus Departs Wakaw Rec Centre;
9:45 a.m. Bus Departs Safeway Parking Lot (Circle & 8th)

Location:

Arrives at the Legislature 12:45 p.m.

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CONTACT:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West (306) 370-4990

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Important Community Input Received at Town Hall Meeting in Wakaw

Important Community Input Received at Town Hall Meeting in Wakaw

Wakaw – A community meeting was set up for April 27, 2011 at 7pm by the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union). Invitations were extended to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR), as well as, the Minister of Health and others. Late in the day on April 26, the Health Region advised that they would not be in attendance. The Minister of Health did not attend nor did he send a representative from the Ministry to the meeting. Representatives from the Municipality and the Town of Wakaw were present.

Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West reports, “Of course it would have been ideal to have both the Ministry and the Health Region in the room for this meeting. However, the SHR has now asked that we participate in a Working Group made up of staff, community and union representatives so that these groups are brought together at one table to determine the needs of the residents and health care services that ought to be offered. We see the proposed Working Group as a positive development and hope their intent is in earnest. How effective the dialogue about the future of health care services in Wakaw will remain to be seen.”

Cape added, “This meeting and the Working Group should be seen as opportunities to be inclusive and work towards a common goal of meeting the medical and broader health care service needs within the community of Wakaw. We received important input at tonight’s meeting and thereafter will share that info with SHR. We will continue to work with this community to achieve a fair voice for them and for the workers in their fight to address their health service needs. Our experience with the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and their responsive representatives has been through much hard work and collaboration to look for solutions together. It is too bad that the Ministry of Health is unwilling to participate.”

SEIU-West leaders and members have been making inquiries regarding the future status of health care services in Wakaw, and many of these remain unanswered. Layoff notices to health care providers within the community are pending. Many may be forced to leave their homes in this community to find alternate work. SEIU-West, has been working with members and the community and would like to offer suggestions to the Saskatoon Health Region for alternate strategies.

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

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Town Hall Meeting Seeks Input to Improve Health Care Services in Wakaw and Surrounding Area

A Town Hall meeting organized by the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and SEIU-West will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, to discuss the future of health care services in the Wakaw area.

Invitations have been extended to the Saskatoon Health Region, Minister of Health Don McMorris, local SaskParty MLA Delbert Kirsch, Municipal leaders and others.

“Of course it would be ideal to have all interested parties in the room for this meeting, as we remain hopeful that the group can formulate a plan to ensure effective health care for the citizens of Wakaw and area,” said SEIU-West President Barbara Cape.

Who: Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and Surrounding Area SEIU-West Members, Representatives and Leaders

Date: Wednesday April 27, 2011

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Wakaw Recreation Centre

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SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

CONTACT:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator SEIU-West – 306.370.4990

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Technological Changes at Wakaw Hospital

Wakaw – SEIU-West has now served notice to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) that due to the technological changes introduced by the employer in the closure of Wakaw Hospital, negotiations must commence in order to create a workplace adjustment plan for the health providers.

“The actual work that our members do is going to be altered significantly by the reduced service levels in the closure of Wakaw Hospital,” said Randy Hoffman, SEIU-West Union Representative. “While we remain concerned about the accessibility of hospital services within this community, we also want our members to be able to continue to work and live in a way that benefits themselves and the community as a whole. It is not a secret that when people lose jobs, and there are no alternate employment opportunities within their community, they either have to move or lengthen their commute. In addition, there is an obligation on the parties to truly discuss and determine significant and meaningful means of expanding the limited services initially promoted by the Health Region.”

“Our members are facing some very hard times if we don’t get a plan in place now,” says Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We want to be proactive; and we want to influence the design of the workplace so that when doctors are finally recruited to the Wakaw Hospital – there are no barriers to reopening the facility. It goes without saying that it is our desire to see the best quality public healthcare provided to the people of the Wakaw and surrounding area.”

No dates have been agreed to as of yet but the Union is hopeful that the employer will see fit to arrange these meetings in a timely manner.

 SEIU-West represents over 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan. As well, SEIU-West represents employees working in the following sectors: Education, Municipal, Community Based Organizations and Allied. For more information on SEIU-West visit: www.seiuwest.ca.

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CONTACT

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator SEIU-West – 306.370.4990 | christine.miller@seiu333.org

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