Arcola Health Centre Emergency Room Closure and Conversion to ALC Centre

I have done everything Premier Moe has asked since March 19th when dealing with Covid19. He wanted me to stay at home, to wash my hands frequently, to not visit anyone, and to do the ever difficult job of teaching from home. And, I did everything he asked of me. You see, I am one of those immunocompromised. I have asthma so I was very worried and wanted to be extremely careful. I did these things to protect myself, to protect my students, and to flatten the curve so that this wonderful province that I love could re-open.

And, low and behold, all the sacrifices worked! We flattened the curve and as of May 4th Premier Moe started opening the province of SASK! After 7 long weeks at home, I felt proud and excited for the future. Visiting with family, seeing my students were top of my ‘to do’ list!

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However, my excitement was short-lived. Today, as Saskatchewan is opening, ironically, our much-needed rural hospital’s emergency room is closing, as of May 14. And, my health is now more at risk than ever before!

 Arcola Health Centre is being converted to an ALC facility! As Saskatchewan cases continue to decrease and our province opens up, this conversion plan does not make any sense. If we are flattening the curve and opening up our province why are we losing our much needed emergency room? Why are we losing our hospital? I was under the impression that these hospital conversions were ONLY going to be phased in if a Covid19 outbreak occurred. In fact, I’ve heard from the Health Authority employees that they were assured that these changes would not be happening, unless we had a major outbreak.

Arcola Health Centre (hospital) is one of the 12 rural hospitals slated to be converted, even though it is one of the busiest emergency centres for STARS. Arcola Hospital is one of the few surrounding hospitals where STARS is allowed to land right on the property, saving valuable time. Not only do STARS patients depend on Arcola Health Centre but I depend on our hospital/emergency, too. My asthma flares up every Spring and Fall and I have always been well looked after here. I have always felt safe, knowing that I can drive 10min and receive excellent care.

When I phoned Mr. Reiter’s office, our Health Minister, today, they suggested that I call 911 in an emergency, as a solution. I live 30 km from the nearest ambulance service so calling 911 just isn’t feasible. My other only option is to drive 65 km to the nearest emergency which, I guarantee you, will feel like eternity when I can’t breathe. I am very worried and I know that I am not the only one worried in our community.

Our whole community depends on our hospital and its emergency room. This is slated as temporary; however, I want the government to rescind this conversion plan for our hospital. Even temporarily closing is and should not be an option. Our community needs our emergency and our hospital. I need our hospital and our emergency room, please!

Judy Naylen

Arcola, SK


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