Stacey Strykowski is losing a lot more than an emergency room.
Strykowski’s family lives just a few blocks from the Preeceville hospital, choosing that location because her son, Jackson, suffers from a severe peanut allergy which requires him to be within 20 minutes of help.
That help is now far beyond reach because there will be no ER or acute service offered at the brand new facility in Preeceville until October.
Another doctor left town, the fourth to do so in as many years.
Strykowski came to the Saskatchewan legislature Thursday to raise the issue of the loss of services that begin June 1.
In response, Rural Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit insists all work is being done to get the community a doctor but it isn’t easy.
“It is really difficult to get some of these professionals to stay long term in these facilities long term,” he explained.
The province is working with the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program and the Sunrise Health Region to bring in more doctors to the numerous communities that are without service.
In the meantime, Ottenbreit maintains there are two paramedics and two ambulances that work out of Preeceville along with those in Canora, about 50 kilometres southeast.
Strykowski argued even that services is limited.
“We only have one advanced care paramedic, the other one right now is on maternity leave, so just like they say a doctor can’t work 24/7, he can’t work 24/7.
In question period, Ottenbreit added STARS is available to respond to emergencies and trauma, but with how far Preeceville is from both Regina and Saskatoon, would not be able to help if Strykowski’s son needed help.
The community had planned a celebration June 24 to thank everyone for their fundraising efforts over the years.
“I don’t really know how that is going to go over. Many people spent years, you know, at least 10 years fundraising millions of dollars,” Strykowski said through tears.