Sask. Party won’t address domestic violence until budget is fixed

Vague poverty report contains no action, no resources

Under pressure to release a poverty reduction strategy, the Sask. Party put out a brutally vague and weak document Wednesday that concluded they won’t deal with partner violence until “the Province’s fiscal capacity allows.”

Saskatchewan has the highest rate of intimate partner violence, as well as the highest rate of domestic violence deaths. By “fiscal capacity,” the Sask. Party is likely referring to its own deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Records show patients waiting dangerously long in Moose Jaw’s ER

New information on emergency room (ER) wait times in Moose Jaw shows that many patients who need to see a doctor within minutes are left in the waiting room of the new Lean-designed hospital for hours.

Documents obtained by the NDP via access to information laws show that 57 times in just 74 days, patients classified as 'emergent' or 'urgent,’ who should have seen a doctor within 15 and 30 minutes, respectively, waited hours.

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Surgical wait lists more than double since March

The number of people waiting more than three months for surgery has increased 115 per cent since the Sask. Party cut the surgical budget in March, and the number of people waiting longer than six months is up 131 per cent.

Those are the numbers from the government’s own Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative website. In March, the Sask. Party cut the budget for surgeries, deciding to do thousands fewer procedures this year, and health care has been further strained by cuts and layoffs since then.

“The province made some progress while times were good, but now that times are tight, we can’t trust them with surgeries. It’s the first place they made cuts,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “It’s shocking that they’re still blowing millions on the Lean program, but are cutting the things that really matter to patients and families.”

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Broten demands moratorium on health care layoffs until election

NDP Leader Cam Broten wants a ban on layoffs of front-line health-care workers until after the election, saying the Sask. Party’s new layoffs will hurt already-strained patient care.

“This election is about priorities,” said Broten. “The Sask. Party is keeping its Lean promoters, but taking health care workers away from bedsides. They’re keeping their bloated, highly paid management, but cutting understaffed acute care.

“Cutting patient care while spending big on waste is a choice that does not match families’ priorities. That’s why I’m calling for the Sask. Party’s planned health care layoffs to be put on hold for six weeks – because it doesn’t have to be this way and Saskatchewan people should have an opportunity to pass judgment on these plans.”   

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Sask. Party lays off more front-line health care workers

The NDP is demanding to know how many front-line health care workers have been laid off – and how many more layoffs are coming – as a fresh round of cuts is taking place in Prince Albert.

This week, front-line care workers in the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region are receiving layoff notices as their positions are eliminated. In Regina and area, at least 150 front-line health care workers were to be laid off – with those numbers likely growing. Saskatoon’s health region also warned that significant cuts are coming to deal with a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.

“The Sask. Party coasted during a hot economy – but now that times are tight, the first place they go to make cuts is to our health care, along with classrooms and homeless shelters,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “That doesn’t even come close to reflecting Saskatchewan people’s priorities. They want Lean cut. They want the highly-paid bloated senior management cut. No one I’ve spoken to wants front-line health care workers cut.”

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