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It's official, Sask Health doesn't see rural hospitals as important

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says emergency room services at Biggar Hospital, along with similar actions at 11 other rural hospitals, is part of their COVID-19 response “plan”.
Again, the closure is said to be temporary, but is a serious blow to those in the community who rely on the facility as a safety net. With seeding in progress, tough luck if you get hurt. If you have an underlying condition, too bad for you if you can’t make the drive to a city ER.
With COVID-19 cases dropping in the province, the move is heavy-handed, and is seen as one more excuse to turn rural “Hospitals” into “health clinics”.
The SHA says that the conversion of rural hospitals to what they call “alternate level of care” or ALC sites was made to address potential surges in COVID-19 cases. They add that the decision was made to “protect our most vulnerable populations.”
The SHA says it will reduce traffic within these community hospitals, and will support the cohorting of staff, which reduces the risk of exposure.
“This measure will also help us to increase capacity in our other sites for the potential COVID-19 surge in cases. Keeping patients and staff safe and healthy continues to be our number one priority,” they added.
SHA’s Scott Livingstone said there were multiple reasons for going with the closures, even with low COVID-19 cases. He claims that it will give them a jump on cases if they should occur with the reopening of the province.
If you live in Biggar, just don’t get seriously ill or hurt while that happens.
The SHA want rural residents to call 911 in case of an emergency.
When emergency care is dependent on the quickest available care, ambulance response, evaluation, and then transport means over an hour before you see the doors of an city ER.