Province and Ahtahkakoop take ‘first step’ in partnership for brand spanking new Saskatoon pressing care centre – Saskatoon

Progress has been made in the development for a new urgent care center in Saskatoon.

The Government of Saskatchewan and Ahtahkakoop Cree Developments (ACD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance a new approach in the development of a new urgent care center in Saskatoon.

“Today is an exciting day for the government, for our partners at Ahtahkakoop, and for the residents of Saskatoon who are looking forward to this new urgent care centre,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said Monday.

The provincial government said the new facility will offer city residents an alternative to emergency departments for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. It also will offer mental health supports.

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“We want to make sure the emergency room at our hospitals are being used for those specific emergencies,” said Merriman, “If there’s lower acuity on the injuries then we want to be able to treat them … at a different location.”

Under the MOU, both sides will begin identifying potential locations and design requirements for the facility, in addition to economic models and project costs.

“Nothing’s been pre-determined (for a location) as of right now, but we know there’s pressure on the west end of Saskatoon,” Merriman explained, “We know there’s pressure at St. Paul’s Hospital.”

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Saskatoon hospitals continue to be overcapacity

Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation Chief Larry Ahenakew said he’s proud of the partnership with the province.

“Today’s announcement is historic and paves a path forward to improved access to urgent care, new supports for mental health and wellness and opportunities for training and employment for Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens of Saskatchewan.”

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The facility is expected to be built and owned by the ACD, while leased and staffed to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

“It’ll benefit our First Nations, same with employment.” Ahenakew said.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority is excited to work with partners to progress this important project that will offer patients an alternative location to get the right level of care for urgent, but non-life-threatening health concerns which require same day treatment, rather than going to the emergency department,” said SHA Interim COO Derek Miller.

The government says the facility will be available around the clock, hoping to lower wait times for issues requiring urgent medical care.

It’s one of two centers included in the government’s $7.5-billion capital plan to help economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Regina urgent care center is currently under construction.

“MRIs, X-rays, anything. I think it will improve al the lineups that we’re waiting (in),” Ahenakew said.

The MOU expires Dec. 31, 2022, but can be extended up to 12 months.

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