REGINA – A group of more than 50 Preeceville, Sask. residents descended on the legislative building Wednesday to protest the upcoming closure of ER services in that town.
READ MORE: ER services to be suspended in Preeceville, Sask.
A fiery debate took place in question period as the opposition NDP slammed the Saskatchewan party in front of the concerned residents.
“In 2005, [Preeceville] was assessed as needing a hospital,” NDP health critic Danielle Chartier said.
“They got a hospital and now it’s a bigger place, it serves not just Preeceville but a broader area and they need acute and emergency services there.”
The premier defended what the province has done to protect rural health care.
“We cannot force a doctor to stay, neither can we force doctors to locate to certain communities. What we can do is provide incentives [and] we’ve added to those bursaries,” Wall said.
According to the Saskatchewan government, the Rural Family Physician Incentive Program pays $120K over 5 years to recently graduated physicians who practice in a community of 10,000 people or less.
READ MORE: Saskatchewan getting better at convincing new doctors to stick around
However, talk of incentives are not quelling concerns for the residents affected most.
“Everybody in our whole community, surrounding area, they’ve fundraised huge dollars. $3.5 million was fundraised,” Preeceville resident Tammy Pantiuk said.
“We want it, we deserve it.”
These are the folks from Preeceville. Counted over 50. Sign reads #PreecevilleStrong #skpoli #yqr pic.twitter长沙桑拿/dXXeBkCvsK
— Blake Lough (@Blake_Lough) May 25, 2016