Internal “review” into long-term care an insult: Meili

Today, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called the government’s “internal review” into long-term care standards in Saskatchewan an insult, and called on the Sask. Party government to do a proper review of long-term care. He also committed to appointing an independent Seniors’ Advocate and introducing legislated minimum care standards.

“This government has spent years dismissing the calls of families and seniors for better, safer care across the province,” said Meili. “It is an insult to everyone who has stepped forward with good-faith concerns about the abysmal level of care this government provides to announce an ‘internal review’ without telling anyone what they are reviewing and who will be involved.”

An SHA statement yesterday indicated that this review of guidelines is currently underway. Health Minister Jim Reiter has dismissed the distinction between the current unenforceable guidelines and the legislated care standards they got rid of in 2011 as “semantics.” Scott Moe has likewise stated that existing guidelines “are working.”

“The Sask. Party has said repeatedly that their guidelines are good enough, but we’ve heard from family after family that a lack of care standards and inadequate funding mean people are hurting,” said Meili. “Internal reviews are a part of the problem. We need independent oversight in the form of a Seniors’ Advocate, legislated standards of care, dedicated resources to ensure seniors get the care they need, and building a home care system that allows more seniors to safely stay in their homes.”

The NDP opposition has pushed repeatedly for action to address the understaffing in Saskatchewan’s long-term care homes for seniors.

“Our seniors deserve better – especially during a pandemic,” said Meili. “They’re bearing the greatest risk, and they’ve made great sacrifices, enduring isolation and disruption of care. We owe it to them to do better.”