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A Saskatchewan cabinet minister is promising that a small-town hospital that just lost its last acute care beds and saw its emergency hours reduced will be re-opened.

Everett Hindley, whose responsibilities include rural health, told reporters at the Kamsack hospital that the closure is due to staff shortages that will be remedied.

“We’re going to do that,” he promised.

“We’ll re-open the hospital. We’re going to bring in staff. This is not a permanent closure of the Kamsack Hospital. This is a temporary situation because we don’t have the number of staff we need.”

The Kamsack Hospital has lost its remaining five acute care beds and has seen its emergency hours shrink to from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

About 200 people in front of the hospital booed the minister.

New Democrat MLA Matt Love also addressed the crowd, saying the governing Saskatchewan Party has mismanaged the health-care system.

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