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Saskatchewan health labs to focus on Covid-19

March 23, 2020 8:24 am


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As of today, Saskatchewan's medical laboratories are restricting most of their regular testing in order to focus on testing for Covid-19

In order to prioritize available staff and resources to provide timely COVID-19 testing for the patients of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Laboratory Medicine Provincial Program will begin to limit routine testing at all outpatient laboratories in the province effective 7 am on Monday, March 23.

Testing related to prenatal, cancer and transplant patients will continue.

Tests that are marked as STAT or URGENT will also continue to be collected at outpatient laboratories.

All standing orders will be processed in accordance with the limited test menu.

Any patients with questions about whether their routine test should be collected in a more timely manner, please consult directly with your physician or health care provider.

"We appreciate the public’s continued understanding as we all work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic," said the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

The latest information about COVID19 continues to be available on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19

The Saskatchewan Health Authority provided the following questions and answers for people affected by the changes in laboratory testing:

Q: Why am I being turned away?
A: We apologize for the inconvenience, but in order to prioritize available staff and resources for COVID-19 testing, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is limiting routine testing in all Laboratories in the province. If your test is not deemed essential it cannot be conducted at this time.

Q: Where do I go to get this blood work done because my physician/care provider has asked me to come here?
A: All Laboratories in the province are limiting routine testing at this time. If you are concerned that this testing is essential to your well-being, please contact your physician or health care provider to find out whether it should be conducted on an URGENT or STAT basis.

Q: My doctor’s office has closed; who else can I contact about this?
A: Please see the Doctors Accepting New Patients on our website to find an alternate provider, or visit
a walk-in clinic.

Q: Why wasn’t I informed of this earlier?
A: We are working very hard to match our available resources to the needs created by COVID-19 while still providing essential services to patients in Saskatchewan. As changes are required to support this work, we are communicating them to the public as quickly as they are identified.

Q: What kind of tests are still being conducted?
A: Prenatal, cancer and transplant testing will continue without interruption, as will other tests deemed essential. Tests marked as STAT or URGENT will also continue to be conducted as aligned to the limited test menu. A copy of the limited test menu is on our website.

Q: Are standing orders being collected and processed?
A: Yes if it is a test identified on the limited test menu. Please see the full list on our website.

Q: What about pre-booked appointments?
A: All patients will be contacted in the near future to review their appointments as they align to the
criteria identified, routine will be cancelled and standing orders will continue.

Q: I am a patient who requires treatment (Chemo, transplant, etc.) at a hospital (i.e. Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert) that is having the outpatient collections done at an offsite collection location. Can I still come to the hospital for my blood collection?
A: Yes - No service interruption for cancer care and transplant care testing.

Q: Who made this decision? Who can I call to complain?
A: The pandemic has forced us all to make decisions in the best interests of those most in need, including SHA. If you wish to issue a complaint please contact the patient advocate office for your area. Contact information is on our website: https://www.saskhealthauthority.ca/Pages/Contacts-Quality-of- Care-Coordinators.aspx .


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