Record-high number of critical incidents in health care

Government’s Lean program is hurting care

The health system caused more critical incidents in Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities last year than in any other year – another indication the government’s Lean overhaul of health care is making things worse instead of better, according to the NDP.

The Ministry of Health annual report shows 195 critical incidents for the 2013/14 fiscal year. That’s up from 161 a year earlier and 127 the year before that. Critical incidents are defined as the actual or potential loss of life, limb or function caused by the health system.

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Beds for seniors with dementia cut in Yorkton

Vulnerable seniors with dementia are being moved out of the dementia unit at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home as spaces are being cut for budgetary reasons.

One full wing of the 48-bed dementia unit is closing. Some residents with dementia will be moved to beds in the care home that are not specialized for dementia care while others will be moved out of Yorkton to find a placement.

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Government must reconsider smart meter installer requirements

Non-qualified electrical workers allowed to install smart meters, thanks to exemption

The government is using workers who are not qualified electrical workers to replace SaskPower and SaskEnergy meters with smart meters. With six fires resulting from meter swaps in just two months, the NDP wants the government to reconsider that policy.

The laws in Saskatchewan require a worker be a journeyman electrician or supervised apprentice to work with the voltage contained in electrical meters, but the government gave the smart meter project an exemption to the law so less-trained workers could remove the existing meters and install the new smart meters.

“We’re concerned that the government’s decision to do the work with less-qualified workers may be putting the safety of people and property at risk, including the safety of the installers,” said Cathy Sproule, the NDP’s critic for SaskPower.

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Government must come clean on condition of health facilities

Families and workers have a right to know about problems, when they will be addressed

As hospitals and health facilities continue to deteriorate, the NDP says it is time for the government to stop sweeping the problems under the rug and start caring for the health infrastructure Saskatchewan people rely on. As another hospital deals with infrastructure failures – Saskatoon’s City Hospital, this time – the government is continuing to hide details about massive problems.

Nearly every detail has been removed or covered up in a report the government has been required to release to the NDP. The Opposition has been demanding the facilities condition report for months after becoming aware the government received it from consultant VFA no later than November 2013.

“Saskatchewan families, patients and health care workers have a right to know what has been given a failing grade, what the government is and is not replacing, and what is at the top of the priority list,” said John Nilson, the NDP’s associate critic for health.

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NDP calls for free fishing weekend to be moved

The NDP is calling on the government to move free fishing weekend to a later date, when all Saskatchewan’s lakes are safe.

Tuesday, a public health advisory cautioned people to avoid several lakes in the southern part of the province because they are contaminated with E.Coli, caused by flooding. But, today the government announced that the upcoming weekend is free fishing weekend and called on Saskatchewan families to fish without a license, encouraging them to submit photos to the government for a tourism contest.

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Saskatchewan NDP Caucus