A virtual signing on Monday is renewing shared health care protocols and responsibilities between both provincial governments for Lloydminster and area.
Everett Hindley, Minister Rural & Remote Health for Saskatchewan and Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro linked virtually to ink the new agreement.
The first Memorandum of Understanding was signed back in July, 2014. The goals of that MOU included equitable access to health care, shared planning of health services, enhanced accountability and an agreement to share information.
The new Memorandum confirms dual licensing for doctors, standardization of some EMS protocols and better access to medical records on both sides of the border.
On the issue of wait times at the Lloydminster Hospital, Everett Hindley, Minister Rural & Remote Health expressed the commitment of the Saskatchewan government to continue to bring these down.
“Lloydminster, in this respect would not be unique, in that they probably do have some specific challenges with regard to wait times at the hospital. There have been some investments made into the Lloydminster Hospital by both governments and we are going to continue to work with our counterparts in Alberta to make sure that we can do as much as we can to shorten those wait times. That’s the goal at the end of the day, to make sure that we provide the best possible care for people in that City and the surrounding communities.”
Hindley saluted the work of the Bi-Provincial Health Services Committee which is one of the products of the 2014 MOU and admits it’s work is ongoing.
“The Committee continues it’s collaborative efforts to further strengthen health services in the Lloydminster catchment area. It’s now focussing on advancing infrastructure stimulus funding, mental health investments and dialysis expansion and relocation. The MOU and Lloydminster Bi-Provincial Services Committee represents an effective framework of our governments to partner in addressing the health service needs of Lloydminster today and also into the future.”
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the renewal of the MOU underscored their commitment to providing seamless healthcare in the region.
“Our renewed MOU with Saskatchewan furthers the provision of seamless, integrated healthcare services to the citizens in both of our jurisdictions. Today’s MOU will build on the existing framework for collaboration and the work of the Bi-Provincial Health Services Committee.”
Shandro pointed out that discussions are ongoing regarding infrastructure, continuing care funding, sharing of records with healthcare providers in both provinces as well as mental health services and dialysis expansion.
Deputy Mayor of Lloydminster Glenn Fagnan expressed City Council’s appreciation for the work of both Provincial governments in re-committing to the MOU and the respective roles of MLA’s Colleen Young on the Saskatchewan side and Garth Rowswell for Alberta.