Expansion plan focus of Chamber meet

June 11, 2012 9:04 am
Kevin Weedmark

The plan for an addition to the Southeast Integrated Care Centre will be the topic of the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday. The meeting is set for 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Boomerang'z.

Bill MacPherson, chair of the Moosomin and District Health Care Foundation, will be guest speaker at the meeting, which is open to the public.

He will be speaking on why the Foundation is asking the Regina-Qu'Appelle Regional Health Authority to conduct a needs assessment to determine if the number of beds in the Southeast Integrated Care Centre is sufficient to meet current needs.

The health care foundation will be making a formal request to the health authority at the board's meeting in Moosomin on June 27.

MacPherson says the foundation has recognized the fact that the facility is too small since it was built.

"We've been talking about it since we had the grand opening," he said.

"It was too small to begin with. The thought in the back of everyone's mind was that sooner or later we would have to expand.

"If they had given us the 110 bed facility instead of the 85 bed facility we would be in better shape, if we had 42 acute beds and 60 long term, that's 10 less seniors who would have to go out of town when they're ready for a nursing home.

"And if we had the 15 extra beds we should have had to begin with on the acute side, it wouldn't be a problem.

"I've always thought we need 40 or 42 acute care beds. Right now there are 27. They have had people out in the hallways, doctors have to send sick people home to bring in sicker people.
"I think the doctors are getting frustrated. They can't do surgeries because there are never any recovery beds available."

The Southeast Integrated Care Centre was built under a 65-35 provincial-local funding split, with the local area raising $10 million for the facility.

The Wall government changed the funding formula to an 80 per cent provincial share, but did not apply the formula to the Moosomin project, which was already under way.

Macpherson said he hopes a new addition to the integrated facility could be built within five years.

The foundation is also asking for a review of the status of the Moosomin facility, with the goal of upgrading it to regional hospital status.