NDP opposes closure of Pasqua pediatrics

The official Opposition wants the government to change course and stop the closure of children’s treatment units at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital.

Following a decision from the health region, pediatric care in Regina would be delivered only at the Regina General Hospital. Children battling cancer being treated at the Pasqua’s Allan Blair Cancer Centre would be moved to the General Hospital, away from the cancer treatment centre. And, pediatric intensive care would be closed entirely, leaving care for the sickest children only available in Saskatoon.

“This government is dismissing the needs of patients and the pressures of growth while it continues its cuts to health care,” said Danielle Chartier, NDP health critic.

“Cutting hospital capacity in a growing province makes no sense. Failing to put the right resources in place, like properly trained health-care specialists, is short-sighted. And, cutting back to one children’s unit and no intensive care available in the south part of the province for the sickest little ones is just unacceptable.”

Chartier said the NDP is concerned with the plan to transfer all young intensive care patients to Saskatoon, increasing risk and taking children and families further from their home and support community.

She also said the plan to transfer children battling cancer into the general pediatrics unit at the Regina General Hospital continues to be a very serious concern, which the NDP first raised in the spring. In April, parents spoke out against that possibility, expressing their belief that the separate children’s cancer unit they have at the Pasqua now keeps their kids safer from infection in a space that works for kids and families, just an elevator-ride away from the region’s only cancer treatment centre.

Chartier added that capacity issues at the already overcrowded and understaffed Regina General Hospital could be exacerbated by the move.

“The solution for this government’s growing sustainability problems in children’s care at the Pasqua shouldn’t be to shut it down,” said Chartier. “In fact, we thought families had a commitment from this government back in April to maintain those care services for nothing less than a better situation for sick kids. Now we’re saying to the government: keep that promise.”

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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus