A shortage of anesthesiologists has been an ongoing issue in Swift Current; while the Cypress Regional Hospital has three positions, only one has been filled for quite some time.

These physicians are necessary for a number of procedures and having only one doctor available at the facility limits when and what can be offered to patients. 

Health minister for Saskatchewan and Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley has been working with the SHA to be able to share some good news with the southwest on this concern.

"We'll have another anesthesiologist coming in April, and then hopefully have another anesthesiologist coming in June if that individual successfully completes their assessment," he said. "By this summer, we should have a full complement of anesthesiologists here at the Cypress Regional Hospital in the city of Swift Current."

In recent months the SHA has had to find locum coverage to cover holidays and sick days for the lone specialist, something that has been a bit of a struggle. 

The two vacancies are not a matter of the lack of people applying, according to Hindley: there simply aren't enough anesthesiologists in the country.

Provinces are competing with each other to keep up with their growing demand and population, battling the national shortage.

"Here in Saskatchewan, we've recently created financial incentives to have anesthesiologists recruited to our province," added Hindley. "It's important to not just recruit them to Regina and Saskatoon but also into regional sites like Swift Current, because if Swift Current is short anesthesiologists, then those patients have to go somewhere else to get that care. That's not ideal for the patients. It's not ideal for us as the government that funds the SHA and these important healthcare services."

Having a full complement of anesthesia specialists in the southwest means the Cypress Regional Hospital can focus on reducing wait times for surgeries as well as relieving some pressure from Saskatoon and Regina. 


"Even though we'll hopefully have a couple more anesthesiologists coming to Swift Current this spring, that doesn't mean that the work is done," Hindley added. "We need to continue to train and recruit and hire these very viable specialists into all of our hospitals across Saskatchewan."