Four-year-old kicked off waitlist after Saskatchewan’s last pediatric GI leaves

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Health Critic Vicki Mowat called on Premier Scott Moe to take responsibility for the state of the health system after Saskatchewan’s last pediatric gastroenterologist left and four-year-old Blake Turnbull was kicked off the waitlist.

"This is any parent’s worst nightmare. I can’t imagine waiting four years for my kid to see a specialist, only to receive a cold, impersonal letter saying that they’ve been kicked off the waitlist,” said Beck. “If the Premier really thinks this is ‘growth that works for everyone’, he just doesn't get it.” 

The SHA informed the Turnbull family last week that after four-year-old Blake had waited nearly all her life to see a pediatric gastroenterologist (GI) in Saskatchewan, she had been taken off the waitlist now that the province’s last pediatric GI closed their practice. A new referral, according to the letter, will not be sent until “alternative solutions” for pediatric GI services are firmed up. 

On May 9, the day after the Turnbull family visited the Legislature to talk about gaps in the health system, one of Blake’s interim tubes pulled out. The Turnbull’s rushed to a Regina emergency room but were told that the tube couldn’t be fixed in Saskatchewan. That night they drove to Edmonton. Blake had surgery on May 10 and was discharged that evening. The Turnbull’s drove home early the following morning and arrived to this ‘unfortunate’ news.

When asked by reporters last week to comment on the testimony of parents frustrated that a lack of support may have driven the last pediatric GI out of the province, Minister Merriman said that he “can’t comment on the parents’ feelings.”

“After 16 years of Sask. Party mismanagement, over a thousand kids need to see a specialist,” said Mowat. “This out-of-touch government should have known for months that our last pediatric GI was leaving. With Moe at the wheel, our health system is going in the wrong direction.”


Share this page