The New Regional Nursing Home Committee is not giving up their dream for a new, updated and modern home for residents in the southeast. On Tuesday, January 9th, they met with the Minister of Health Jim Rieter, the Minister of Health for Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit, and Estevan MLA Lori Carr.
"We arranged a meeting with the Minister of Health, Mr. Jim Reiter." shared Don Kindopp, Chair of the Committee. "And the purpose pf the meeting was to deliver to him the signatures of the people that have signed the letter in support of the support of government to move on replacing the Estevan Regional Nursing Home with a new one."
"We met with him in the morning in Regina and that was a very cordial meeting. He was very empathetic. Of course, he knew of our situation here in Estevan wanting to replace the nursing home. I think he was pleased that we brought the signatures to him. We discussed what this means to the people of Estevan to have the nursing home in place."
He added that going through a traditional method, they are looking at a three year timeline before anything will happen.
"Mr Reiter said if we use the traditional method which is the community comes up with 20% and the government with 80% and we go through the project with that kind of relationship, then it will probably be three years before the government can get out of this economic doldrums right now and get into position where they can do that. Right now they are finishing up the North Battleford Hospital and they also have another year or so on the Children's Hospital in Saskatoon. Once those two commitments are done, there will be money freed up for other projects."
However, there is also an alternative method that could speed things up.
"If we wait until the end March or April, there may be some alternative ways of having the nursing home in place and he invited us back in at the end of March or April to hear these alternatives and see if we were interested in perusing any of them. So we are waiting anxiously to see what the government has to say to us at that time."
He added that the timing likely means the the government needs to have a look at their budget. Until then, the committee will do everything they can to make their dream a reality.
"We continue to work at this, to see what we can do to move the government forward. And we certainly continue to enjoy the support of the community in this matter. We feel confident that we'll continue to do that and any opportunity we have, we will try and promote the replacement of the Estevan Regional Nursing Home."