A software developer from Saskatoon has taken matters into his own hands, developing a web map which highlights the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) facilities' service disruptions.
Joel Hill, who developed the software, elaborated on how the web map works.
“What the page does is what we call web scraping,” he stated. “So, I have a service running on a cloud server and it sends a request to the SHA’s website, specifically that page where they're listing all the service disruptions, and it takes the response from that and parses out all the information I need to redisplay that data.”
From that data, Hill is able to display the disruptions on a user-friendly map.
Hill explained that part of the inspiration for the map can be credited to unstable healthcare services in Saskatchewan.
“One of the issues that we have right now is that services aren't reliable,” he stated. “They're not necessarily consistent and available across Saskatchewan and that information isn't being reported well, so I wanted to make that information available to people, or, more available to people.”
Hill added that the SHA only posts disruptions that last more than seven days, leaving residents to find out upon arrival.
The software developer also noted that there are disruptions dating all the way back to 2020 and is hopeful that the web map draws attention to the shortage of services in the province.
“What the service normally should be is also not communicated,” Hill stated. “Some of these places, even when they’re open and they aren't having service disruptions, service was only two or three days a week and that also isn't really communicated.
“So, there's a lot of other information beyond services being disrupted. Like when ambulances have to be rerouted. That’s information that’s also not communicated.”
Hill stated that he hopes to eventually have a feature where residents can submit information for the web map.
View the web map displaying SHA facilities service disruptions here.