As the consequences of the Sask. Party’s near decade of wasting the economic boom continue to roll out in the form of cold-hearted cuts to the province’s most vulnerable, the seniors served by Saskatoon Council on Aging learned today that they are the most recent to be forced to pay for the Sask. Party’s waste and mismanagement.
The CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region said that cutting one third of this important service’s budget was not reflective of the good work the group did, but rather it “highlights the very difficult choices that we must make in the coming weeks related to our immediate budget issues."
“Prevention programs that help seniors live healthier lives, stay in their homes longer, and reduce their use of the health care system are not the reason the Sask. Party has run such deep deficits,” said NDP Critic for Seniors and Health Danielle Chartier. “The Sask. Party government tries to deny their involvement in this, but we know that the tough decisions that health regions have to make are a direct result of the Sask. Party’s mismanagement. It’s unconscionable that the government is picking the pockets of seniors to make up for the money they blew.”
This cut to seniors comes at the same time that the region announced they would be laying off staff. With hospitals over capacity, health care staff run off their feet trying to care for patients in long term care, and people waiting hours in the emergency rooms, the announced reductions in staffing exacerbate the crisis in health care. The need for programs and services to help seniors will grow – not decrease.
“If doing the right thing isn’t reason enough for the Sask. Party, we know that prevention and community-based programming for seniors is cost-effective and that it helps to keep seniors out of the emergency room,” said Chartier. “Cutting the funding to a seniors program is not only not the solution to any problems, it could actually make many problems worse.”