Residents in Warman are now having to drive to Saskatoon to get their blood work done after the community’s blood lab closed this month.
The lab has operated out of the Gama Family Minor Emergency Medical Centre since the clinic opened six years ago.
“It’s disappointing ,” said Mayor Sheryl Spence, adding its one more service that her residents will have to commute to Saskatoon for.
Office manager Sherran Bradley said the clinic has been bleeding money trying to keep the lab open.
“Over the years the cost of maintaining it and having to do the blood work have just grown astronomically that we have just taken a hit.”
Bradley said the clinic has operated at a disadvantage. She said they cannot bill twice for a patient that came in for blood work and saw their doctor during the same visit.
“In our case because we’re offering the service under one roof we only get paid for one of those services,” she said, adding it’s the reason why most clinics don’t do blood work.
On top of that, Gamma-Dynacare, which handles blood services for the province would not deliver laboratory supplies to the Warman clinic.
Bradley said having to travel to Saskatoon once a week for supplies was also eating into their budget. She said the biggest impact is on the elderly that don’t drive and have to arrange transportation to Saskatoon.
“It’s heart-breaking to see them have to go down to the city. If they have to get a taxi it’s expensive.”
Spence and the city meanwhile have been meeting with the clinic and the Saskatoon Health Region to find a solution that would keep the service going.
“People aren’t happy about it. I myself am optimistic that … we’re going to be able to reinstate or provide a service that will accommodate phlebotomy in our community,” said Spence.