NDP appalled at health survey results

Yet another report on seniors care crisis; Sask. Party still failing to act

A new survey of health professionals shows that since the release of reports like the Ombudsman’s investigation into the tragic death of Margaret Warholm, seniors care hasn’t improved at all.

80 per cent of Health Science Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) members say the gaps in services and staffing they reported in February were still just as bad as of this week. Another 11 per cent say they’ve gotten worse, according to the professional association, which spoke out Tuesday. HSAS represents front-line professionals like assessors who determine the needs of seniors in care, dieticians and physical therapists.

The survey also shows that over 70 per cent of HSAS’s health care workers say long-term care in Saskatchewan is either poor or fair, with less than three per cent saying it’s great. And, shockingly, 42 per cent of HSAS health professionals say, yes, there have been reductions to health services as a result of understaffing in their region, while only 10 per cent answered no to that question.

NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier said the Sask. Party has had ample evidence to cause it to take action.

“The government has seen report after report, and they’ve heard families and professionals speaking out, but still refuses to take action,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “The Sask. Party needs to stop being stubborn, get its head out of the sand and take action to address understaffing and a lack of minimum standards in seniors care homes immediately. Despite all the evidence that’s been made public, the government is ignoring the fact that seniors are being put at risk.”

The evidence Chartier says should have served as final notice for the government includes:

  • CEO tours conducted in summer 2013 which turned up shocking neglect and a horrific stripping of seniors’ dignity at seniors care homes throughout the province.

  • Dozens of families from all over the province which have spoken out publicly after having a loved one suffer as a result of understaffing and a lack of minimum care standards.

  • Health regions so-called business cases were submitted to the government in 2014, requesting many more direct-care staff positions, along with equipment and training.

  • A 2015 survey showed nurses are regularly seeing patients and residents put at risk as a result of short staffing and the John Black Lean model.

  • The provincial Ombudsman released a special report on the tragic death of Margaret Warholm, and strongly stated that Warholm’s premature death is not unique.

  • The 2014 CEO tour report, stemming from tours conducted last summer, that not only shows no improvement from 2013, but was literally a cut-and-paste when it came to the province’s largest health region, Saskatoon.

  • The stories of at least seven seniors who have died prematurely because of a lack of staff have been raised by the NDP in the legislature. Deaths were related to causes from dehydration to the wrong medication being given to a resident, all because caregivers are run off their feet.