It is something that many in Regina have been saying has been needed for a long time.
Health Minister Jim Reiter and officials from the Saskatchewan Health Authority were at the Pasqua Hospital on Monday morning to announce plans for a $15-million urgent care centre. Funding will be taken from the government’s two-year, $7.5 billion capital plan for the province’s economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government shared in a new release that the centre will help ease stress placed on emergency rooms since it will take in patients with an illness or injury that is not life-threatening, but cannot wait for the next day. 24-hour, seven-days-a-week care will be provided for residents at the centre.
The facility is also expected to lower wait times for health care issues requiring urgent medical attention.
Minister Reiter said plans are underway to finalize the location of the facility.
“We anticipate [officials] will have that decision made later this fall,” explained Reiter. “When you build something like this, there are all kinds of issues like proximity, what properties are available, what would be the best fit.”
Urgent care centres provide injury care such as stitches and casting for minor broken bones; treatment for infections, fevers, rashes and flu symptoms and respiratory care such as asthma; and on-site diagnostic imaging, pharmaceutical and laboratory services. The centre will also offer urgent mental health and addictions supports.
“I think this speaks to the need of the fact we need more mental health and addictions services in Regina, Saskatoon and the rest of the province,” added Reiter.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022. A similar initiative has also been announced for Saskatoon.
(With files from Moises Canales)