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The Miner-Journal is a Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper published at the office of Koskie Publication, 606 Veterans Avenue in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada – Potash Capital of the World.

The Miner-Journal is proud to serve the Potashville area. This area includes the communities of: Esterhazy, Stockholm, Dubuc, Atwater, Bangor, Spy Hill, Tantallon, Yarbo, Gerald, Rocanville, Churchbridge, Langenburg and Bredenbury.

September 19, 2016 issue
September 19, 2016 issue
2013 September 19

September 19, 2016 issue

Charity Golf raises $230,000
Sept. 19, 2016
2013 September 19
by Brenda Matchett

The 16th annual Charity Golf Classic was held Sept. 12, and raised $230,000.
Money raised will help the hospital/care home building fund in reaching its goal. A goal that has now increased to a staggering $10.5-11 million, in order to meet the share of the development costs for both the new hospital and care home project.
Warren Kaeding, MLA for Melville/Saltcoats spoke to the crowd at the evening banquet and acknowledged the communities’ dedication and hard work spent on this project and the diligence that not only this community has, but also our dedicated group of health care professionals in the area.
“I have met with your hospital board, I’ve met with doctors and nurses, your lab tech people, and tomorrow I’m going to meet with your long-term care people. You truly have people who demonstrate the utmost professionalism under some very archaic conditions. So I really want to thank everybody for their patience in trying to get this project off the ground. And, I understand your frustration in not seeing anything concrete, but I want to re-assure you that we are diligently working behind the scenes, and we’re going to make this project happen,” said Kaeding.
Chair Don Hood spoke about numbers and the reasons for the increase of our financial obligation. “What we need to raise is $10.5-11 Million. We’re sitting at $8 Million. Sounds pretty good, but it’s still a pretty huge number left for us to raise. And that’s our 20 per cent of the project,” said Hood.
When the project started, it was decided to start with the hospital and then come back and do the care home. At the last meeting the government stated they wanted them both done at the same time which is why the amount has increased by $3 Million. “
“We need to understand that the government has some serious issues with money. And it’s mainly potash revenues and oil revenues that are causing the trouble. But we also need for the government to understand that we want the project to move forward, and we don’t want it to move forward a long time down the road – we need it to happen in the short term. We need to be the squeaky wheel. We need to push the government to make the project happen. Believe me, they have a lot of projects on their plate. There are times I feel sorry for them for all these different groups asking for money, but that’s the challenge for them to figure out,” said Hood.
Dr. Mandi Nel talked about the need to stay committed, now more than ever, to get the project moving forward. “Both our care home and our hospital are showing their age, and they are currently barely sufficient for our needs,” she said.
“The hospital has had some serious issues in the past couple of years. Flooding to name one and a broken air conditioning unit. We are also looking at bathrooms that are too small and in some instances are not wheelchair accessible. Some- thing as simple as oxygen supply to the room can be an issue. We need a new hospital.
“Our patients deserve to receive high-quality care in a sparkling facility. That is the most important reason. But another benefit in having a new facility would also be potentially attracting new physicians long term. We are all aware how hard it is to recruit and retain physicians in small communities.”
Nel continued to explain how having a care home attached to the hospital also has some major benefits. Currently patients that need lab and x-ray have to be transported by ambulance to the hospital which is not just costly, but also time consuming. With one facility the patient can be wheeled over immediately to get the necessary tests.
“We have come so far, and every year it seems our goal is within reach, and then the line gets moved. Please don’t get discouraged. Our ultimate goal is to get a new hospital building, but along the way this community has been benefiting from the fundraising. Because of the partnership between physicians, community and patients, we, the Esterhazy physicians, have been able to fulfill our mission of giving high-quality medical care. We have access to medical equipment that has been supported or financed by this cause. For instance we have better hospital beds in the emergency department of the hospital, we have high-quality defibrillator equipment, and equipment rarely available in small community hospitals,” said Nel.
Although it may seem discouraging that the new hospital seems to get further and further away, as do the financial targets, it is important to see this in light of a long-term perspective. There is no doubt that an integrated hospital/care home complex would serve this area better than a new hospital alone.
We cannot control how long it will take for Esterhazy’s project to rise to the top of the government priority list, no more than we can control how the oil and potash industry revenues will impact the government’s coffers in the future.
All we can do is stay positive, stay on track and continue supporting this cause.

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