'We’re overrun:' Martensville and Warman calling for support in healthcare

Doctors and patients from Warman and Martensville, along with NDP MLAs are calling on the provincial government to address the shortage of hospitals in those communities.

Dr. Allison Adamus, a doctor from Martensville, visited the provincial legislature Wednesday with members of her community and healthcare workers.

“We came today to ask that our community be treated equally to other communities of the same size in our province because we are the only two communities without any of those services,” she said.

She said residents can’t access healthcare services, obtain programs to help recruitment, or bring healthcare services and infrastructure into their communities.

“We’ve continually been told over and over again, we’re too close to Saskatoon, we don’t need additional services,” said Adamus. “We’re struggling to use bits and scraps of infrastructure that our city has but we have nothing that the government has put in place to allow us to bring enough services in.”

As of Wednesday morning, there were 68 patients admitted to emergency rooms in Saskatoon with no beds available. Since Warman and Martensville do not have a hospital site, full services are not available so patients have to travel to Saskatoon, according to a release from the NDP caucus.

NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat said doctors are burning out and many people in the community are going without the help they need.

“Martensville and Warman are being denied adequate healthcare because the government classifies them as a ‘bedroom’ community of Saskatoon,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “This means they have no hospital to match their growing population.”

Adamus said they had to close their walk-in service and are the only clinic for the entire community of Martensville which is almost 12,000 people. She said they have five physicians currently but will be down to just two full-time physicians and one part-time physician by the end of the month.

“We’re overrun,” said Adamus. “It’s difficult to do and we certainly can’t keep up with the demand.”

Warman and Martensville are currently still excluded from the government’s “Return of Service” agreement. The official Opposition called on the provincial government to remove the two communities from that list, as requested in a petition signed by almost 1,500 residents in the legislature on Wednesday.

It was a pleasure to be joined by doctors, municipal leaders and community members from Martensville and @CityofWarman.

Health Critic @VickiMowat tabled nearly 1500 petitions calling for better support for their health system.#skpoli #skhealth pic.twitter.com/CFD2dSI5zO

— Saskatchewan New Democrats (@Sask_NDP) May 4, 2022

Adamus said this isn’t a new issue and they have been asking for a fix for a while.

“We’re feeling it disproportionally because we were at that point before [COVID-19] even started,” said Adamus.

Premier Scott Moe said he will be meeting with those from both Martensville and Warman to discuss the issues they’re facing in healthcare.

“We need to work with the community members and support the community members and look for maybe some innovative solutions for those two communities,” he said.

Moe said although the past two years have been challenging, they will continue to recruit medical professionals and aim to focus their efforts.

“We’re coming through that now to a time where we can get very ambitious and aggressive,” he said.