Saskatchewan

Province backtracks on Moose Jaw's hyperbaric chamber

Premier Brad Wall announced the province's only hyperbaric chamber will be staying in Moose Jaw.

Premier Brad Wall says the government made a mistake pulling the chamber from the new hospital

Gail Sack underwent treatment in a hyperbaric chamber in Moose Jaw to recover from carbon monoxide poisoning. (Photo courtesy of Gail Sack)

Premier Brad Wall says his government made a mistake when it decided to get rid of the province's only hyperbaric chamber. 

Residents of Moose Jaw and the medical community were shocked to learn that the chamber would not be in plans for the city's new hospital and have been lobbying government for months to reverse its decision. 

Wall said the Five Hill Health Region made the recommendation to get rid of the chamber based on numbers showing it wasn't used often enough to have a place in the new hospital. But added sometimes numbers don't tell the whole story.

"It's pretty helpful to us to realize that when these recommendations are made there's probably a good reason to make them and there's also a good reason to be circumspect and to look even more carefully and the implications of not having them," Wall said.

According to Wall, keeping the chamber will not come without an additional cost and he'll be turning to some of the local groups and organizations that offered funds to help pay for that. 

"It's a tight budget year, so we're going to need that support from the foundation," he said Monday morning. 

The government is still working out the final cost of keeping the chamber.

Wall said he is not sure if the chamber will be incorporated in the finalized footprint of the new hospital or if will have to be an addition. An announcement on its location and the full cost will come in about two weeks. 

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