Saskatchewan Examiner

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Due to a staffing shortage, the Shellbrook Health Center temporarily shutters its acute care beds

Due to a staff shortfall, Shellbrook Health Centre has temporarily closed its acute care beds.

Key Takeaways:

  • The provincial NDP and union leaders have criticized the temporary closure of 10 beds at the Parkland Integrated Health Centre in Shellbrook.
  • The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) attributes the closure to challenges in finding and keeping medical specialists.
  • SHA claims it is still working on employment programs to fill positions in Shellbrook and many other rural communities.

The Parkland Integrated Health Centre in Shellbrook temporarily closing 10 beds has been denounced by the provincial NDP leader and union leaders.

Carla Beck, the leader of the official opposition NDP, stated that the Saskatchewan Party abruptly closed half of the acute care beds, and they have remained closed since May 20.

Beck shared the news with the public, members of the Shellbrook community, and healthcare professionals.

When Beck announced, resident Calee Rabbitskin was with her small daughter at the hospital.

According to Rabbitskin, “That means they are relocating them to Prince Albert, and Victoria hospital doesn’t have enough space or health care staff operating their floors, so that’s a significant concern for folks on the reserves, and that’s where we’re from.”

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According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), difficulties in hiring and retaining medical professionals are to blame for the closure.

According to SHA, there will be 15 more beds available starting on July 4.

Subject to staffing levels, the intention is to restore 20 acute care beds in the fall, according to a statement from SHA to CTV News.

The reduction in beds, according to SHA, enables them to “better manage workload” and keep the emergency room operational.

According to CUPE, local healthcare professionals have long-standing worries about the workload and personnel retention.

Due to a staff shortfall, Shellbrook Health Centre has temporarily closed its acute care beds.
Due to a staff shortfall, Shellbrook Health Centre has temporarily closed its acute care beds. Image from Global News

“Permanent full-time positions are necessary to attract and retain residents of the province. Permanent can disappear at any time. Despite being posted for a year, it could end with two weeks’ notice after six months, according to Sharon Paul, CUPE General Vice President for the Region.

“I worry about my relatives who reside in the service area. When these beds are all taken, where will they go? What will happen when samples must be sent to Saskatoon for lab tests? Paul spoke.

According to the NDP, there is a staffing deficit for diagnostic imaging, x-ray, and labs, causing fatigue and burnout.

According to SHA, it continues to work on hiring initiatives to fill positions in Shellbrook and numerous other rural towns.

Saskatoon is roughly an hour and a half’s drive north of Shellbrook.

Source: CTV News

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