May 14, 2021

Funding Increased for Respiratory Services at Prince Albert Victoria Hospital

Additional Therapists Mean Improved Access To Oxygen-Based Care 

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has moved quickly to hire additional respiratory therapists, in relation to the provincial budget announcement of $334,000 in new funding to increase services at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert.

"The people of Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan rely on the important health care services of Victoria Hospital," Health Minister Paul Merriman said.  "Our government is pleased to invest in the expansion of respiratory services, which also supports the operational plan for the larger Victoria Hospital redevelopment project."

The funding nearly doubles capacity to about eight full-time respiratory therapist positions at Victoria Hospital and will provide 24/7 respiratory therapy coverage for all acute care services at the hospital.  In the short-term, it will also assist the facility with patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

"Respiratory therapists are a vital part of our health care teams," SHA Executive Director of Acute Care for the North East Carol Gregoryk said.  "Our therapists are involved in all of our units caring for infants to adults and they have been instrumental in caring for our patients with COVID-19.  This funding allows us to have respiratory therapists available at the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist our teams to deliver health care to a growing population in northern Saskatchewan."

Respiratory therapists are skilled health care professionals who evaluate, treat and maintain the lung and heart function of their patients.

This year's record Health budget will ensure Saskatchewan people are protected through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic while also continuing to build on record investments in mental health and addictions initiatives, enhancing critical care measures, improving provincial health care programs, and planning new infrastructure across the province.