Local nurses and first responders continue to speak out about safety concerns at the Cypress Regional Hospital.
Over the past year, the hospital has witnessed a staggering surge in violent incidents, prompting over 90 calls to the RCMP—a stark contrast to the mid-40s reported just four years ago.
Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley expressed his deep concern about the escalating situation, highlighting the impact on both the community and the healthcare system.
"It's very concerning for me as the local MLA, but also as the Minister of Health," he said. "It's not something that healthcare workers of any designation signed up for when they got into a career of healthcare; they were doing so because they're passionate about healthcare, because they want to help people."
Notably, two dedicated staff members have been forced to take time off to recover from assaults since the summer, adding to the growing list of healthcare professionals who have fallen victim to workplace violence.
Hindley, who also serves as the Minister of Health, had previously engaged with SUN Local 69 members last summer to discuss the growing security challenges.
"I have engaged with the Ministry of Health officials and with the SHA to talk about the situation here in Swift Current and the increasing number of violent incidents that are being reported," he stated. "I've asked the teams what [security] might look like for the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current. It's my understanding that there is significant work that's already underway as to what that might look like for our city and how that might be able to be established at the Cypress Regional Hospital."
Several communities (less than half) across the province have security measures in place, as this isn't a concern unique to the southwest. However, Hindley said since there isn't a standard model in place, the capacity of safeguards varies in each city or community.
While unable to confirm specific timelines or potential actions, he assured the public that he would continue to advocate for the safety and well-being of local healthcare workers in Swift Current.
"Based on the meeting I had with the nurses this summer and the most recent update that they provided publicly to City Council along with the information provided by the [Swift Current City] RCMP, I've asked our officials to take a look at what could be possible for our community and how quickly that could possibly take shape," he added. "It's alarming and it's something that we need to address in order to make sure that our healthcare workers are properly protected."