Indian Head Hospital closed its ER due to lack of staff
Indian Head residents were notified last week that emergency services would be unavailable at Indian Head Union Hospital from Friday afternoon, September 23, until Monday morning, September 26. During that time, individuals were to be redirected to hospitals in Fort Qu’Appelle or Regina.
James Winkel, a representative from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), explained that lack of staff caused the temporary service disruption.
“Emergency departments require specific staff such as physicians, nurses, lab or x-ray technicians in order to provide safe and accessible care,” Winkel wrote to Grasslands News on Tuesday morning. “The temporary service disruption for Indian Head in this case is a temporary shortage of laboratory staff due to scheduling.”
Broadview Hospital’s emergency and lab services were similarly disrupted during the day on September 23.
Winkel acknowledged that many communities have been faced with issues at their local hospitals and referred optimistically to a new plan from the government.
“The Government of Saskatchewan’s recently announced Health Human Resources Action Plan will assist the SHA with addressing the staffing challenges that Indian Head and other communities across Saskatchewan are currently facing,” he stated. “Recruitment to address staffing shortages required to support the safe operation of emergency and acute care services is a priority across the health system and work is ongoing.”
Winkel added that SHA is working with the Government of Saskatchewan as well as local healthcare providers to minimize service disruptions.
“The SHA appreciates the patience and understanding of the residents of Indian Head and the surrounding area as we continue to work toward the development of a recruitment and retention strategy that will restore and stabilize emergency and acute care services and limit service disruptions as much as possible,” he said.