New bus service to offer on-site medical care in Saskatoon Tribal Council communities
SASKATOON -- A new mobile bus service will offer medical care in First Nations communities.
The bus, announced on Thursday, will travel to the seven communities that make up the Saskatoon Tribal Council five days a week.
“People won’t have to leave their homes to get health treatment and that has been the goal,” said Troy Davies, member of Synergy 8 a non-profit organization that contributed to the project.
The mobile health service bus is a partnership between Synergy 8 and a number of sponsors such as Nutrien, Cameco, the Jim Pattison hospital, and several others.
The provincial and federal governments have committed $250,000 annually for over the next five years with a total investment of $2.5 million. The money will go towards funding medical supplies and services.
“It will be split 50-50 between the province and the federal government and that is just huge for us, and after the announcement, we are in good shape,” said Davies.
Over a five year period, the pilot project will provide direct access to mental health and dental services to over a thousand children and residents in the communities.
A dentist, dental assistant, paramedic and potential therapist will be on the bus to offer a variety of services.
Edmonton Oilers player Ethan Bear was in attendance for the official announcement. Bear grew up on Ochapowace Nation and says the bus will help offer medical support for isolated first nations communities.
“It is just a warm feeling knowing someone who doesn’t even know they need help will get the care and help they need and it will keep them healthy,” said Bear.
The total amount of capital funding is 3.3 million and the new bus will start serving communities on August 31st of 2021.