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Pediatric ER now open 24 hours

Dr. Ron Siemens, Pediatric Emergency Physician in Saskatoon and interim provincial head of pediatrics, and Corey Miller, Vice President of Provincial Programs for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, speak to media August 13, 2019

Royal University Hospital’s (RUH’s) children’s emergency services are now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Previously, dedicated pediatric services operated from 8 a.m. to midnight. During off hours, children were seen through the adult emergency department and a pediatrician was available on an on-call basis.

In the fall, children’s emergency services will move to its new location in the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. A key milestone to the successful move was the early implementation of a 24-hour children’s emergency department prior to relocation. The recent hiring of a new pediatric emergency physician has meant that the change could be implemented on August 1, 2019.

“We’ve been able to increase our hours for children’s emergency services due to our successful recruitment efforts,” said Corey Miller, Vice President of Provincial Programs for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. “Our recruitment efforts to bring more pediatricians to Saskatchewan continue.”

Dr. Ron Siemens, Pediatric Emergency Physician in Saskatoon and interim provincial head of pediatrics,  and Corey Miller, Vice President of Provincial Programs for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, speak to media August 13, 2019.

While 24-hour care for children has always been possible in the emergency department, children who arrived after midnight were seen by an emergency physician who specializes in family care – both adult and pediatrics. Now, children who come to emergency after midnight can receive care from the specialized pediatric emergency physician on site, paying specific attention to improved access and unique care needs of children and families.

In addition, a second physician will now be available on site to support peak periods, and the number of pediatric registered nurses has increased to support the specialized needs of children.

“Pediatric care has always been a top priority through the emergency department and has been delivered extremely well,” said Miller. “Achieving this milestone of 24-hour care is simply allowing for enhanced access for children and families prior to the move to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, and an opportunity for staff to adjust to new processes prior to the transition to the new hospital.”

Located in Saskatoon next to the Royal University Hospital, the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital will provide enhanced specialized pediatric care in an environment built specifically for children and families. The new hospital will provide increased access for kids, safety and equipment features for children and staff who specialize in pediatric care.

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