Doctor recruitment strategy must be overhauled

The government has already reduced hours or shut the doors on emergency rooms in dozens of communities, and the provincial capital is potentially next on the list. It’s time for an overhaul of the physician recruitment strategy, according to the NDP.

“The government’s job in a growing province is to plan for growth – to put pieces like more doctors and infrastructure in place. This government didn’t do that,” said NDP health critic Danielle Chartier. “Health care workers and families are doing their best to take care of everyone, but the government isn’t doing its part. There are fewer doctors in the Pasqua Hospital emergency room – not more – and that means something has to change.”

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is struggling with an emergency room doctor shortage. Current staff are working long hours to keep the emergency room open, and if more doctors can’t be recruited quickly, the emergency room may shut its doors for parts of the day.

Regina is far from the first community forced to curtail emergency or acute care services because doctors haven’t been recruited – dozens of communities like Wakaw, Shellbrook, Wolseley, Coronach and Watrous have faced closed emergency room doors and reduced medical services because of doctor shortages.

The NDP said next week’s Throne Speech from the government must include a plan to solve the doctor shortage, but the government appears to be moving in the wrong direction when it comes to doctor recruitment and retention with the province’s only medical school on probation.

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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus
306-787-6349
emorrison@ndpcaucus.sk.ca