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SEIU-West Members and Leaders Join Rural Community in Fight to Keep Wakaw Hospital Open

Wakaw – Members of SEIU-West joined community groups and residents of Wakaw at a rally today to send a message to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) and the SaskParty government that the Wakaw Hospital is a vital part of the rural health care system.

“This hospital provides important services to a wide-variety of people in a large rural area. If Wakaw is forced to close, it will affect not only the residents in the area but also the vacationers who come in from other parts of the province and beyond,” said SEIU-West Secretary Treasurer Janice Platzke.

“Yet another rural health care centre is being targeted for closure due to a shortage of doctors,” Platzke added. “It appears the government has many excuses but no real plan to address the future of health care in rural Saskatchewan and the issue of recruitment and retention of doctors across the province. “

“For that matter, it appears the government is falling short in many areas when it comes to health care providers”, Platzke added. “We continue to see our own members leaving the health system because of staff shortages, work overloads and unsafe staffing levels. The government needs to address these critical issues to protect and maintain a viable public health care system.

The potential closure of the Wakaw hospital comes as a shock to community members. “Part of the reason some people chose Wakaw as their permanent home was because of the hospital,” said Licensed Practical Nurse Karen Miskolczi. “People only found out about the potential closure earlier this month. We are here today to tell the health region and the government that they can’t let that happen to our community.”

“We serve a growing population that is active and takes pride in their community,” Miskolczi continued. “This weekend alone we have a bonspiel, hockey tournament and a volleyball tournament. What happens if there is a serious injury and someone needs urgent medical attention?”

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 – 306.370.4990 | christine.miller@seiu333.org

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