SaskParty Government Gives Up on Rural Saskatchewan Health Care

Wakaw – Today, members of SEIU-West, community groups and residents of Wakaw and area received shocking news from the Health Region. Wakaw hospital will be closed as of April 1, 2011.

“Clearly, the government has failed the people of Wakaw and area,” said Janice Platzke, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU-West. “This hospital provides vital services to a wide-variety of people in a large rural area, not only on a day to day basis but also during recreational seasons when the population swells. This is a dark day for Wakaw and area residents.”

“The government touted its new physician recruitment team but all we have seen is empty promises. So far, it’s been a lot of talk but very little action. Taxpayers in Wakaw and across the province expect their government to deliver results, and most importantly to deliver health services.”

The government has indicated the Wakaw facility will be re-opening as a Health Centre on April 4, 2011 with severely reduced services.

“At the Wakaw community meeting in January, residents were clear that they wanted to keep their hospital open and fully functional,” said Platzke. “If the government isn’t listening to the taxpayers who elect them, then who are they listening to?”

“Of course I’m completely devastated,” says Laurel Gaudet who has worked as a Combined Laboratory X-Ray Technologist at Wakaw Hospital for the last year and a half. “I came to work in Wakaw because I was traveling too far for my previous job. Now my family and I will need to reconsider our dream of living, raising a family and working in a rural community.”

“Is this the ‘New Saskatchewan’ that the SaskParty government talks about? Do they intend their new Saskatchewan to pit urban centers against rural centers, with different levels of health care services and different opportunities for those who want to work in health care?” asked Platzke.

“This drastic reduction in services in Wakaw will put undue pressure on other health facilities who are already not funded sufficiently to deal with their existing volumes. Is this another strategy by the SaskParty government to drive the system toward private, for-profit clinics?” Platzke added.

SEIU-West represents approximately 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan, working with communities to maintain and improve health care services across the province.

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CONTACT:

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


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