At Southeast Integrated Care Centre: MacPherson says more beds are needed

October 2, 2012 10:51 am
Kara Kinna

Health care was on the agenda at the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting last week, where Moosomin and District Health Care Foundation (MDHCF) chair Bill MacPherson was invited to speak about the foundation's proposal for an expansion of the Southeast Integrated Care Centre.

On June 27, the foundation will be meeting with the Regina Qu'Appelle Regional Health Authority to propose a needs assessment to determine if the facility is large enough to meet current needs.

"Ten years ago, we had on the table from Sask Health a 110 bed facility with 42 acute and 68 long-term beds, and they cut and they cut over the years to 27 acute and 58 long-term beds, which we have today," MacPherson told Chamber members at the meeting.

"It has been three years since the place opened, and so we figure it's time. The hospital has been so busy, the doctors have been swamped, and it's time to have a needs assessment for this facility."

MacPherson says that on June 27 the Moosomin and District Health Care Foundation will have 20 minutes to make a presentation to make the the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, arguing that a needs assessment is in order for the facility.

MacPherson says the MDHCF will meet with the doctors this week for discussions on what is needed at the hospital before their presentation to the health board.

"If the health minister came to me today, I would say we need a new acute wing of 10 beds and a long-term wing of 12 beds. That would make a big difference. Twelve people would not have to go to Wolseley or Broadview, they could stay here in Moosomin," he said.

"We have 20 minutes to impress the regional board, and we're hoping we make a great presentation to them. We're trying to make the right decisions to move forward."

MacPherson quoted Brad Wall, in a speech he made on June 5 regarding the new Plains Surgery and Outpatient Care Centre being built in Regina: "There were so many mistakes made in rural health care in the 1990s and we don't want to do that again. We have to think this through and do things the right way."

He concluded his presentation by telling Chamber members that if they have any ideas regarding the needs assessment and the proposed expansion of the Southeast Integrated Care Centre, that they should talk to himself or MDHCF secretary Holly McFarlane before June 27.

Chamber member Rick Beckett asked MacPherson if there would be anything in the presentation regarding staffing.

MacPherson told him that the MDHCF does not look after the operation of the hospital, and therefore does not take care of staffing.

"We are just the money people," he said. "We look after people's money and make sure it gets to the places where it needs to go."

MacPherson added that, if the expansion of the hospital were to go ahead, the community would be responsible for 20 per cent of the capital costs of the expansion. He pointed out that the town of Moosomin has already funded aa large portion of the cost of building the facility, and that this time, it would be up to others to pick up more of the cost.

"I think it's up to the rest of the RMs and the towns surrounding to pick up the slack this time," he said. "The town of Moosomin has done their part, and the rest of us have to pick up the slack this time."