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Lloyd health lobby to chat with Hindley

By January 19, 2023January 31st, 2023No Comments
Paul Richer, chair of the Lloydminster and District Health Advisory Council, not shown in this photo, briefed the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society about an upcoming health services lobby, including Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, left, in Regina on Jan. 25. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


Lloydminster and District Health Advisory Council chair, Paul Richer, is banking on the squeaky wheel getting the grease formula to see some investments in health services come our way.

Richer has a list of health services gaps in our region he is taking to a meeting in Regina with Everett Hindley, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health, on Jan. 25.

Joining Richer are Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation CEO, Stephanie Munro, and former Lloyd Ex manager, Mike Sidoryk, for what amounts to an elevator pitch.

“We’re preparing a draft letter of the top three or four items because we only have 30 minutes with the minister. We have to pare down some achievable things we’re looking for,” said Richer.

Aalbers says he too wants to bring awareness to the minister of those leading issues.

“The importance is highlighting those important points and making sure we hopefully get some commitment from him on something going forward, even if it’s not tomorrow, but into the future that they realize these issues need to be addressed,” said Aalbers.

The Lloyd contingent plans to hand Hindley a complete list of 12 needed health services, along with some historical context of promising past plans that haven’t panned out.

“We’re going to give him the entire package out of our wish list, including historical data as to why we’re deserving, in our opinions, with studies in 2007 and 2013 that haven’t generally been worked on,” said Richer.

He told the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society’s meeting on Jan. 17 that the top priorities they will share with the minister are for his specific intervention, starting with mental health stabilization beds.

“In Lloydminster, as you know, in 2013, it was identified Lloydminster should have 10 beds at that time, never mind now. There’s been nothing that ever happened at all, zero,” he said.

Richer pointed out we are still waiting for that one, and also added our city doesn’t even have a Police and Crisis Team (PACT) with the RCMP, which he notes is unusual for a city of our size.

The No. 2 priority for Hindley’s attention is to request a public announcement on expediting an upgrade to the 2013 Lloydminster Integrated Health Services and Facility Infrastructure Needs Assessment.

“That’s winnable and we’re hearing some good things and I want them to mention when they will finish,” said Richer.

Saskatchewan Health Authority and Alberta Health Services have previously confirmed the Lloyd region will need an additional 60 long-term care spaces by 2025 and 148 by 2035.

The third priority is making bi-provincial medical file sharing a reality in the city.

Richer says “it’s been a dog for everyone” especially for Alberta residents.

“I really want to express to the minister it’s more than just Netcare (Alberta) and it’s more than just eHealth (Sask) —it’s all file sharing,” explained Richer.

“So we want to expand on that a little bit.”

Lastly, he said the planned relocation of the renal dialysis unit to Prairie North Plaza has hit a roadblock.

“We all felt that’s all done, but it’s not. The last we heard, the Prairie North Plaza, where it was to go 10 years ago, is an unacceptable location,” he told seniors.

He said the advisory council learned in December it is not an acceptable location anymore following a facility inspection.

“We don’t know why,” he said.

Dr. Raf Sayeed, who was at the seniors’ meeting, provided an answer directed at Richer.

“I can tell you why, because it’s too far from medical services. They just strung us along,” he said.

“The ideal location, Paul, is where the administration is in the hospital where David Fan used to have his office. It’s three-quarters empty.”

Sayeed said you cannot have a medical facility with a high-risk medical procedure if you have a cardiac arrest.

Besides, he noted there’s a shortage of doctors at Prairie North and “you need nurses.”

“Somebody came up with this idea it’s going to go there. They strung us along and they knew all along that was not the location. That’s not the location. It doesn’t belong there. You have to have specialized medical services

available at short notice,” Sayeed stressed.

Richer says his group plans to ask the minister why the delay now, at the ninth hour.

“Anyway, we’re saying we need your intervention and we need it (dialysis unit) in the right place wherever that is.”