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Saskatchewan sends first ICU patient to Ontario

With ICU’s reaching 124 patients and the threshold that was set being 116, Saskatchewan has sent its first patient to Ontario as health officials pursue efforts to ease the strain on the system.

Officials at Monday’s Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, PEOC technical briefing indicated the patient transfer cost to the province is at least $20,000 per patient, not counting medical costs associated with out-of-province treatment.

Marlo Pritchard, president of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency  says they have  reached out across North America and as well the Federal government to get in particular, ICU trained staff which he admits is a scarce resource.

Pritchard updated the COVID case count numbers as at 6 a.m. Monday October 18th.

“Today Saskatchewan saw 279 new cases. 335 people are in hospital due to COVID. 85 people are in ICU and 39 non-COVID ICU patients which brings a total of 124 patients in ICU.”

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Pritchard and the PEOC team acknowledged that sending patients out of the province will cause stress on the families affected as loved ones are sent far away, but he affirms the decision is necessary to support the critical quality care that patients need.

“As national supports for ICU resources are scarce, it is much more effective to transfer a small number of patients out of province to relieve pressure on our healthcare system. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the single, best way to reduce the strain on the provincial healthcare system and reduce ICU numbers is to get vaccinated.”

Five more patients are expected to be transferred to Ontario by the end of Wednesday, Pritchard said.

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