Group protests eroding rural health services at start of spring sitting

Residents of Craik, Sask. brought their concerns about health care to the start of spring sitting at the Saskatchewan Legislature.

People gathered at the legislature to share concerns about the state of health care in Craik, Sask.

Protesters from Craik, Sask. outside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building on Monday were worried about the erosion of health services in their rural community. (Dean Gutheil/CBC News)

People who live in rural communities met the start of the Saskatchewan Legislature's spring sitting with a protest.

A busload of about 80 people, mostly from Craik, Sask., rallied outside the legislature over the lunch hour on Monday to express concerns regarding the erosion of health services and emergency care in the rural community.

Rick Rogers, the mayor of Craik, said he is worried about the centralization of medical services in the town of Davidson, Sask., which is located about 30 kilometres away.

"I don't know about you, but if I had a stroke or a heart attack, I wouldn't want to wait that 30 kilometres to see a doctor," Rogers said.

About 80 protesters from Craik, Sask. rallied outside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building at the start of the spring sitting on Monday. (Dean Gutheil/CBC News)

David Ashdown, another protester, said there is a big difference between going to see a doctor in Craik and in Davidson.

"If the ambulance is coming from Davidson, the ambulance is going to take about 30 minutes," Ashdown said. "It can take you a minute-and-a-half over to the Craik health centre."

The protesters also wondered whether this will mean an end for their hospital.

Greg Ottenbreit, the minister for rural health, denied such a plan exists.

Craik is located approximately 118 kilometres northwest of Regina.

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