New information shows Saskatchewan emergency room wait times have doubled since 2010, with patients waiting 3.4 hours before being assessed by a doctor, up from 1.7 hours in 2010.
The data was released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and shows wait times for patients in Regina and Saskatoon.
“Obviously, this government is taking health care in the wrong direction,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “It’s ignoring the basics and putting all time and money into its obsession with Lean, so things are getting worse instead of better. The NDP wants to see the focus on front-line care.”
Chartier said long emergency room waits are a symptom of problems and backlog throughout the hospital and health system, including seniors waiting in hospital for a long-term care bed.
Opposition says government’s culture of entitlement a growing concern
The NDP says the premier and his SaskPower minister have a lot of explaining to do after documents revealed Wednesday that a $143 million proposed refurbishment of the Crown corporation’s head office includes a rooftop patio with heaters, living walls, executive area upgrades and something referred to as a “penthouse.”
“The sense of entitlement of this government, and the culture of entitlement among their friends and insiders is a growing concern,” said NDP Central Services critic Warren McCall. “Of course the government and their board appointees at SaskPower should abandon this luxury renovation plan.
“The fact that a consulting firm was hired and paid to provide an estimate on the cost of a rooftop patio with heaters, a living wall and a penthouse is a shocking misuse of public dollars and ratepayer dollars. For the government and its appointees to think this kind of lavish spending is appropriate and fair to ratepayers is shocking – especially at a time when the government is raising SaskPower rates for Saskatchewan families.”
A special report released Tuesday by the Advocate for Children and Youth describes a Social Services Ministry that is understaffed and struggling to meet the basic needs of vulnerable children.
Throughout the report, Lost in the System: Jake’s Story, the advocate describes medical care referrals and developmental assessment requirements that were regularly not followed through on; Assessment and Care Plans that failed to be approved within timeline policies; and understaffed, overcrowded foster homes and emergency care centres that didn’t have time for proper follow-up on red flags.
The cause of Jake’s sudden death in December 2009 can’t be determined, but NDP Social Services critic David Forbes said proper medical and developmental assessment throughout Jake’s short life should have been done along with proper follow-up.
Opposition joins companies in calling for overhaul of government procurement policies
The NDP wants the government to change its procurement policies so Saskatchewan businesses do not keep losing out while work is continually handed to companies from other provinces and countries.
The steel fabrication industry is one sector that has had enough of the government's policies undermining businesses in our province. For over 17 months, the industry has been pressuring the government behind the scenes for changes to its procurement policies, but the government has failed to act on their repeated calls.
"Local steel businesses tell me they're in lay-off mode because of a lack of work and a big part of the problem is that this government keeps giving contracts to companies from Ontario, Quebec, California and Texas. That's frustrating and it's not right," said Broten. "This should be a loud wake-up call for this government. We shouldn't have to wait until these businesses shut down or leave the province before we see some real action from this government that finally starts putting Saskatchewan's interests first."
The province has pushed the cost of funding northern affordable housing off itself and onto northern communities – a move the NDP says shows that this government doesn’t understand the desperate need for housing in the north.