At the meeting regarding the Galloway Health Centre in Oxbow last month, one question came up a few times: what's the difference between a Community Hospital and a Health Centre?

The question comes from the designations given to some healthcare locations, such as in Estevan and Redvers, being called Community Hospitals, while other locations, usually in rural areas, are called Health Centres.

Roberta Wiwcharuk, Executive Director of Acute Care for the Southeast with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, explains the difference between the two.

"The designation is based on the facility designation regulations. So it's really the difference between the services that are provided. So the biggest difference between the community and a Health Center would be those services and a Community Hospital would have acute care patients which would be different from the Health Center. "

The actual designation doesn't carry any changes in how a hospital is funded - instead, that's determined by what services are provided.

"It's mainly determined by the services provided, so the SHA's providing funding from the Ministry of Health and that's part of their global base for the programs and services. So from that funding budgets are produced for each designated facility for the programs and services they provide. "

In order for a community to change its designation, communication would need to take place between them and the SHA.

"Well the designation of a facility, it is established by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the SHA, so that would be something that those SHA and Ministry leaders would have to have those conversations, so that's really where that designation would fit. "

"They could express their concerns and certainly some facilities have done that. So if they've got some concerns they could express that forward to local leadership and then that could be taken forward to the leadership in SHA for further discussion. "