The unprecedented fire season is having an impact on health care in Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon Health Region has put together a special team to provide health services for the nearly 2,800 evacuees in Saskatoon. Approximately 900 are being housed in nine hotels across the city.
Providing health care needs for fire evacuees is nothing new for the health region, but Petrina McGrath, president of interprofessional practice and chief nursing officer for the region, said this year is a unique situation.
“What’s a little bit different right now is the volume or the size of evacuees, and the length of time.”
The health region has clinics at both evacuee centres in the city. However with so many more evacuees spread out across the city in hotels, McGrath said they needed to bring health services directly to them.
“We’ve set up an evacuation director, a roving operational manager and a clinical managers at both of the soccer centres. That infrastructure is helping us, one be on the ground working in partnership with the Red Cross and others and really taking care of the health part.”
McGrath said they have redeployed resources without having to take staff off the front lines in hospitals.
The health region is using a mix of care aids and two nurse practitioners visiting the hotels with evacuees.
“Some of our work is also just running to get prescriptions for people. People need a prescription filled and they just don’t have the ability to get to a pharmacy, “McGrath said.
The health region is also using care workers from the north that were evacuated.
“It’s always amazing how partnerships come together in these situations. I think what you see is, although were there providing help and our staff are there to focus on health, it’s everyone chipping in to help each other.”
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