CUPE alongside Ituna community representatives were at the Legislature today to present a petition signed by over 500 residents of Ituna and surrounding area to save their lab services from cuts which were made effective in October of this year. After the petition was introduced, the NDP Opposition Critic for Health called upon the provincial government during question period to listen to the concerns of the community and reverse the cuts to lab services in Ituna which were reduced from five days a week to only three with potential further cuts to come.
The significant cut to lab hours reduces access to health services and critical tests for Ituna area residents. The NDP Opposition Health Critic highlighted the concerns that exorbitant costs of excessive travel or ambulance fees could result when town residents, long-term care residents, and residents with intellectual disabilities in supported living face the need for laboratory tests and the town’s lab is closed for days at a time. Furthermore, cuts to lab hours could make retaining a certified laboratory technologist to run the lab difficult, along with the ability to keep a town doctor in the future.
Community members expressed concerns to the provincial government over the summer leading up to the cut and shortly after it was implemented including a letter from CUPE to the Minister of Health, Minister of Rural and Remote Health, and the Local MLA for Last Mountain-Touchwood that all went unanswered and ignored. Click here to read CUPE’s letter.
Concerned residents are encouraged to contact the local MLA for Last Mountain-Touchwood and the Minister of Health to stop the cuts to lab services.
Ituna is a central Saskatchewan town located 165 kilometres north of Regina. CUPE represents health care workers in the Ituna area, members of CUPE Local 4980. CUPE Saskatchewan represents over 30,000 members delivering public services across the province and is the largest health care union in Saskatchewan.
- Questions to the Minister of Rural Health on December 6, 2017 Question Period (Beginning at 2:18:58)
- Petition to Save Ituna Lab Services presented in the Legislature signed by over 500 residents (Beginning at 1:38:35)
- Sign the petition to save lab services in Ituna. Click here to view and download the petition. Signed petitions can be returned to the CUPE Saskatchewan office at 3725 E Eastgate Drive, Regina, SK, S4Z 1A5, or call 306-757-1009.
- Post a window sign in support. Click here to download the window sign.
- Display your support on facebook. Click here to download the facebook profile pic to Save our Lab Services Ituna.