The Lloydminster and District Health Advisory Council is calling on residents to write to both the Saskatchewan and Alberta health ministers to call for a fresh look at health facilities and related services across the midwest region.
This as the 2013 health infrastructure and services checklist across Lloydminster and area is in need of an update.
The group notes the increase in population since the last inventory was done and the burden being placed on the health system by some 36,000 people in Lloydminster and an estimated 100,000 residents with the combination of surrounding communities.
The last health facility infrastructure and needs assessment tallied the size, capacity and condition of health facilities including long-term care.
In calling for the replacement of the old survey with a modern study, chair Paul Richer says there are several gaps in health services that Lloydminster and area faces when compared to similar jurisdictions. He supports his assertion by quoting from the 2013 executive summary document.
“”The Lloydminster area is underserved when compared to provincial, average health services capacity and the services provided in communities with similar catchment populations.” That was in 2013. I assure you all the milestones and growth were exceeded from all the studies I have seen. And so it has gotten worse, not better.”
As MyLloydminsterNow has previously reported, the health advisory council has a 15-point priority list that includes either renos or expansion of the 1986-built Lloydminster Hospital. Richer has also detailed some of the shortages in local health care including long-term care beds and the issues surrounding the availability of medical records on both sides of the border. As well, local medic Dr. Raf Sayeed has stated that Lloydminster is short several family doctors.
Richer says they are encouraging residents to either use the suggested format available from the health advisory council or pen their own lobby letter to the health ministers.
“I have written the letter. People are free to take that as a sample and write their own letter. Again I ask that they get mailed to each minister. Or use the one I’ve provided and put just a very special note at the bottom; would be a good idea, otherwise they would look the same.”
The health infrastructure and services document will require consultants to visit all the area health facilities to reconfirm the age, capacity, quality of construction and maintenance. The findings will be graded on a scale and the consultants will make recommendations, says Richer.
A sample letter has been posted on the health advisory council’s Facebook page.