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Hospital closed permanently

Posted on May 12, 2014 by Maple Creek

Health care delivery in Maple Creek came to a grinding halt last Thursday as unrelenting leaks in the hospital’s roof forced Cypress Health Region to close its doors.

Since then, it’s been a stressful time in the community as residents were left without local health care services and the health region sought alternate locations in town where these services could operate.

The hospital was closed on Thursday evening, and health region staff began brainstorming their next move.

They have made arrangements to relocate the primary healthcare clinic to the former Rowan Financial building located at 202 Maple Street. Health region staff are working to have the location ready to resume operations today. Appointments can be made by calling 306-662-2829.

Emergency services, X-ray and lab services will be operated out of the TransGas building on Pacific Avenue. The health region is working to have this location ready to re-open services tomorrow at 7 p.m.

“We’re pretty comfortable that we’re going to be able to run almost a complete lab service with the space provided,” stated Bryce Martin, communications co-ordinator with Cypress Health Region.

A portable X-ray unit will be used in the lab.

“It can’t do all of the things that our existing X-ray unit would be able to do… but it’ll be able to give us what we need to have for emergency services,” Martin said.

Two observation beds will be available with emergency services, where staff will determine if a patient is well enough to go home or will need to be transfered to another facility.

As of yesterday, public health services, community health services, therapy services and home care are stationed at Cypress Lodge.

Martin noted the community has been very supportive in offering assistance and facilities.

While the 51-year-old hospital building has had leaks in its roof from time to time, it was just two weeks ago that it became a serious problem when a downpour of rain resulted in multiple leaks throughout the facility. A private contractor was brought in to resolve the moisture issues within the building, and a roofing company was hired to try to find a solution for the leaks.

“We got a roofing crew up there and they were able to do some patching, but they really couldn’t guarantee anything just because of the state of the roof,” said Beth Vachon, Cypress Health Region’s CEO.

Leaks continued, forcing staff to constantly relocate services to other areas of the building. Eventually, the health region decided it would have to find another solution.

“The more work we were having done in there, the less conducive of an environment it is for health and wellness just from the physical environment and the disruptions that our staff would have to be working amongst to try to provide care,” Vachon explained. She added asbestos was not an issue, and only a minute amount of mould was detected in air quality tests – an amount that would be found in a typical environment.

The search then began to find alternate locations to house services.

EMS and home care were the only services still operating while solutions were being found. In emergency situations, EMS have been transporting patients to the nearest facility – either Medicine Hat, Shaunavon, Leader or Swift Current.

Vachon noted the hospital building will not be re-opened, and services will be operated at the alternate locations until the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility is ready to open in the fall.

“For all intents and purposes, we’re abandoning that building,” she stated.

More information on the situation can be found at http://www.cypresshealth.ca/maplecreekupdate.

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