NDP calling on government to address short-staffing concerns in healthcare

The NDP was joined at the Legislature today by Brooke Ofstie, whose family members suffered firsthand the consequences of short-staffing in health, to call on the government to provide proper funding for frontline healthcare.

“Short staffing levels continue to plague the province’s emergency rooms and health care centres,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “While they’re gearing up to celebrate a so-called ‘return to balance,’ we’re seeing in stories like Brooke’s just who is paying the price for their cuts. We need to see action to ensure staffing levels are at a place where every patient receives the care they need, and workers aren’t stretched to the breaking point.”

Two weeks ago, Brooke’s grandmother broke her pelvis and was taken to St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Shortly after treatment, she was sent home and put in the sole care of her 88-year-old husband with no care plan, and no additional supports. When Brooke learned about her grandmother being sent home, she had her brought back to St. Paul’s Hospital by ambulance after she saw her declining care at home.

While her grandmother was on the ward, Brooke witnessed firsthand how understaffed and underfunded her grandmother’s unit was. Brooke needed to demand that her grandmother be given a shower after three days without one. Her grandmother is supposed to be receiving physiotherapy everyday, but because there is not enough staff, she had not been receiving any. Staff were too busy to get her to the washroom and was forced to use bedpans and even wet herself while waiting for staff. Brooke said she watched staff struggle to do their best, but there simply weren’t enough of them.

“My grandmother shouldn’t be suffering because of lack of staff,” Ofstie said. “She was admitted to the hospital to receive care and get better. This is not the case.”

“No one else should have to go through what Brooke and her family did,” Mowat said. “But until staffing levels are addressed properly, other families will be forced to ensure struggles like Brooke’s.”