Planned Parenthood Regina to close temporarily, will search for new building

·2 min read
Planned Parenthood Regina is closing temporarily starting in May. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC - image credit)
Planned Parenthood Regina is closing temporarily starting in May. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC - image credit)

Planned Parenthood Regina is temporarily closing its doors amid problems with their building.

"Planned Parenthood Regina will be temporarily closing our clinic as we seek a new home following unforeseen circumstances at our current location," a post on their Instagram feed reads.

CBC confirmed the closure with executive director Risa Payant.

"We're focused on packing the clinic and making sure our clients are cared for to the best of our ability during the temporary closure," she said in an email. She added that the clinic will open as soon as staff can find a new suitable home.

Closure will leave gap

Heather Hale, executive director of Saskatoon Sexual Health (SSH), says centres such as hers and Planned Parenthood are often busy, seeing a lot of people who don't have access to a family doctor.

"We certainly see folks for whom their physician isn't able to provide the service they need, whether that's through an IUD insertion or … felt like they didn't get as much information as they were looking for, so maybe that's around a diagnosis of an STI [sexually transmitted infection]," she said.

Hale says Saskatoon saw a total of 6,739 patients in 2021, including 2,123 first-time clients. In addition, almost 9,000 people consulted via telephone, making 2021 the busiest year in its history.

A closure, even a temporary one, would have a significant detrimental impact to the community, she warns.

"We know that COVID-19 has resulted in disruptions of conventional services and pathways of care. Unfortunately, we also know that during times of public health crisis or pandemics, the need for these services [doesn't] go down, [it] actually goes up," Hale said. "So we have an increased need in a system that has less access."

Hale says Saskatchewan has the highest rate of HIV, the highest provincial rates of chlamydia, the second-highest gonorrhea rate and a 900-per-cent increase in syphilis cases over the last five years.

In general, she says, centres such as heres need to be better supported so they can help improve these statistics.

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