Maternity services are needed here

A complaint made often about Weyburn’s health care services is the lack of a maternity ward or obstetrical services for a city of this size, forcing women to make a long drive, sometimes in labour, to Regina, Moose Jaw or Estevan.
The maternity ward at the Weyburn General Hospital closed in June 2007, although the Sun Country Health Region at the time said there would be an effort made to get it open again.
This intention was stated many times in the years afterward, but now the health district is gone and in its stead the province’s health care is now under the Saskatchewan Health Authority — and now there is no longer any effort of any kind being made to reinstate obstetrical services here.
Just recently, another instance of why there should be a maternity ward available occurred when a local pregnant woman had to go the hospital with some pains, and since no obstetrical services were here, she was promptly put in an ambulance and was sent off to Regina.
They only got a little ways out of the city when her water broke, and the ambulance turned around and brought her back to the Weyburn hospital, where she delivered a baby girl a short time later.
For their part, the Sask. Health Authority said women will only give birth here if the birth is imminent. Since the maternity ward closed, 23 babies have been born at the Weyburn hospital — and that’s just those whose birth was “imminent”, meaning they could not make the trip to one of these other centres in time.
What is concerning is that when the SHA was asked if or when a maternity ward might be re-established, with plans for a new hospital to be built here, the reply was, “At this point in time, there are no plans to reinstate obstetrical services, now or in the future.”
This is unacceptable for a community the size of Weyburn’s, a hub of economic activity for both agriculture and oil in the southeast. Yes, the fact that 23 babies were born between 2007 and 2019 doesn’t sound like much, but these are just the babies that absolutely could not wait for the unreasonably long drive to another centre. And what about the couples who have literally had to deliver their babies by the side of the highway, which are not counted in that 23?
For the health and safety of families in the Weyburn region, obstetrical services need to be re-established at the Weyburn General Hospital, particularly when a new acute-care hospital is built here

article continues below