Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod: ‘We’ve identified a path forward to have a CT Scanner in Moosomin’

March 25, 2024, 8:25 am
Kevin Weedmark & Ashley Bochek

Saskatchewan Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod told World-Spectator reporter Ashley Bochek that he can see a path toward a CT Scanner for Moosomin. The World-Spectator was at the Legislature for the 2024 budget.

Saskatchewan Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod told the World-Spectator Wednesday that the government has found a path forward to have a CT Scanner in Moosomin.

McLeod and Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk met with community representatives Tuesday, and spoke with the World-Spectator following the budget on Wednesday.

“I was really excited to have that meeting with the community and MLA Steven Bonk. We were happy to find a place where we’ve identified a path forward to have a CT scanner in Moosomin,” said McLeod.

He said he believes the local reps at the meeting were excited about the scanner proposal.

“The mood at the meeting was generally excitement and we certainly are happy to continue to work with the community,” he said. “There’s a fairly generous community and foundation there. They’ve done a lot of great work. We’ve done pretty well to come to a point where we’ve identified a path forward for this project.”

He said the ministry and the community will work together on coming up with a framework agreement for the CT Scanner.

McLeod sad a lot of details still have to be worked out.

“At this point what we’re doing is we’re working together with the community and the ministry to establish a framework and we’re still working on those details. It’s still being worked on as we speak. We’re happy to continue to work together with the community and the foundation to build that framework that allows us a path forward.”

The CT Scanner would be community or privately owned, and SHA would pay for the scans.

“It’s something that we’re actively working on right now but we could expect it in a few weeks—we’re starting to see a clearer picture of the framework.”
Whether the proprietor would have the right to provide private scans as well as serving the public system is another detail that has yet to be worked out, said McLeod.

“That will be one of the criteria being established within the framework but we certainly anticipate that, yes.

“The location of the CT scanner would be part of the framework and we’re still working on that but we’re pleased with the conversations that we’ve had at this point and we’re really excited that we’ve identified a path forward that will result in a CT Scanner for Moosomin.”

He said Moosomin didn’t meet the criteria for a CT Scanner under current SHA rules, so the government wanted to come up with a framework that would work for Moosomin and could be applied in other communities as well.

“Where Moosomin falls didn’t meet the criteria SHA has, so we’ve had to work together with the community to identify a framework that can be consistently applied, not just for Moosomin, but across Saskatchewan for all communities that fit under the same category as Moosomin. We’re working on that framework and hopefully, we’ll have something more concrete in the coming weeks.

“We’re trying to identify some guidelines and some criteria that can be applied fairly across the province, so that when other communities come forward, then we have a consistent approach. So that if a community like Moosomin is looking for the same type of service, then we’ve got some type of framework that can be consistently applied for everyone.”

He said Estevan will have a similar framework developed, as a local person had offered to purchase an MRI for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan, which didn’t fit into any program until now.

McLeod said the government has to work on unique solutions for communities like Moosomin, which has some unique aspects to its health care, such as having 14 doctors, far more than any other community its size, being the smallest community in Saskatchewan to offer chemotherapy, but provides it to more patients than larger centres, and offering a medical residency program.
“That’s a great question, and it is the reason we’re developing the framework,” he said. “And there’s not an easy answer to that. As you know, it’s something we’ve been working on for some time. It’s taken us a while to get to this point, and we are really excited to be able to reach this point, where we can at least communicate to the community that we have found a positive path forward.”

The budget includes a $5.1-million increase to expand capacity for specialized CT and MRI medical imaging services.