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Hindley health visit proactive

By February 2, 2023No Comments
Paul Richer, chair of the Lloydminster Health Advisory Council, briefed the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society on Tuesday about a group health services meeting he led to Regina on Jan. 25. The group presented the package he holds in his hand to Everett Hindley Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Mission accomplished. 

A four-person team from Lloydminster plans to keep an open rapport with Everett Hindley after briefing him on the top four of 12 health service priorities in Regina on Jan. 25.

Hindley is Saskatchewan’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health, who invited the group to his office after touring some Lloydminster health facilities last June.

“We spent about 45 to 50 minutes with him,” said Lloydminster and District Health Advisory Council chair, Paul Richer, who led the local contingent.

“The idea of our presentation was to talk firstly about our historical context, in other words, how long we’ve waited for a lot of things around Lloydminster. We were able to get through four points and he took notes and was very interested in what we had to say.”

Those priorities included a need for mental health stability beds, a new health services and facility needs assessment plan, bi-provincial medical file sharing and renal dialysis relocation.

Richer says they also plan to follow up during an upcoming Bi-Provincial Health Services Committee on April 21.

The committee is chaired by the assistant deputy ministers of health from Saskatchewan and Alberta.

It includes Richer, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation CEO, Stephanie Munro, and Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, who met with Hindley, along with former Lloyd Ex, manager Mike Sidoryk.

“The bi-provincial chairperson from Saskatchewan will probably be hearing from minister Hindley, so I am hoping for an uptick in some of the messaging that we’re going to get,” said Richer.

In the meantime, Richer says the Lloyd group found it encouraging to hear Hindley was surprised there was an issue where the renal dialysis may be going, and he wanted to hear more from administrators on what was going on with that.

Richer says the advisory council only learned the Prairie North Plaza is not an acceptable location following a facility inspection in December.

Munro says she has been advocating for dialysis relocation very strongly at every level of government she can and everyone at Saskatchewan Health Authority because she is accountable to her donors for the money the foundation has in a fund for dialysis. 

“I need to know where that dialysis relocation is happening and where it is going to be going,” stressed Munro.

She called the Regina meeting with Hindley very proactive on all the issues they presented to him.

“He was very receptive to the concerns we brought forth from Lloydminster as a whole from the Lloydminster and District Health Advisory Council,” said Munro.

Ditto says Richer about Hindley’s willingness to make progress.

“He really felt we could get a couple of wins, meaning we should be able to accomplish something out of what we talked to him about,” said Richer.

Health Minister Paul Merriman also joined Munro and the heads of other health foundations in the province while in Regina to hear their concerns.

“He really took into consideration what the foundations had to say and was really appreciative of all the work we do to enhance health care with our province,” said Munro.

She says in the past two years up until last May, the foundations raised $182 million towards health care in the province.

“That’s very substantial. We just want to be heard and have a voice and say ‘this is what we are willing to fundraise for,’ and minister Merriman was very receptive to everything we had to say,” said Munro.

Aalbers noted the Lloyd group also learned about the potential for more federal health care dollars for the provinces when premiers meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Feb. 7.

He says premiers are currently looking for an increase to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Aalbers says he encouraged Hindley to continue to work with the health minister in Alberta because working together results in complete dollars spent on healthcare if they do it in a partnership.

“That’s the important piece to this, working together with Alberta to ensure we see seamless health care,” he said. 

In the meantime, Sidoryk, who set up the meeting with Hindley, is also hoping to set up a meeting with Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping to discuss similar issues.