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Sask. will send women who need urgent breast cancer tests to Calgary

Sask. will send women who need urgent breast cancer tests to Calgary


To address wait times, the provincial government announced they will be sending women who need urgent breast cancer tests to Calgary.

The patients at high risk are receiving diagnostic care in Saskatchewan, according to a release from the province, but eligible patients on an urgent wait last will be able to receive procedures at a private medical facility in Calgary.

“Women in this province have raised concerns about the wait times for breast cancer diagnostics,” breast cancer survivor and advocate Jodi Krechowiecki said in the release. “We will continue to push for improved patient access within Saskatchewan and I am relieved to see that the government is listening to women in this province.”

The temporary initiative, which is meant to accelerate breast mammography and biopsies, will be in place until the services are stabilized in Saskatchewan, the release said. The Regina Breast Assessment Centre will be coordinating the out-of-province-care.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has also extended hours of service in Saskatoon for long-waiting and urgent patients from Regina and southern areas of the province.

As well, there is now centralized booking for breast imaging at SHA facilities across the province. The SHA is working with the Ministry of Health to recruit specialized workers.

“Understanding quick access to diagnostic services is vital to ensuring patients receive timely and appropriate treatment,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said.

“I had asked that all options be considered to reduce current waitlists and while work continues on bolstering Saskatchewan resources so we can provide this care at home.”


The Saskatchewan NDP framed the outsourcing of scans as a failure – likening it to the government’s decision to transport COVID-19 ICU patients to Ontario in 2021.

“The fact that they’re doing that again to Saskatchewan people is not a sign that they managed our health system well – it’s a sign of their failure,” said NDP MLA Matt Love during question period.

The Saskatchewan NDP hosted health care workers from Regina’s Pasqua Hospital on Wednesday. Love highlighted workers’ concerns over understaffing.

“The people who joined us here today have seen their unit closed when there aren’t enough staff with many open vacancies, unfilled positions and staff burning out – that’s at risk of happening again this winter,” he said.

“If just one or two of these staff at the Pasqua Hospital catch a flu, or call in sick, the whole system will collapse at the Pasqua.”

According to Saskatchewan Cancer Agency annual reports, the number of mammograms performed in Saskatchewan has trended downward in the past seven years.

In 2017, a total of 38,521 tests were conducted as opposed to 28,454 in 2022 – marking a decline of more than 10,000.

According to the NDP, some Saskatchewan doctors are currently reporting waits for mammograms as long as into June of 2024.

More details to come…




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