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.”
Hospitals throughout the province are already dealing with a shortage of staff, causing long waits in emergency rooms (ERs) and throughout hospitals. In 2014, 18,000 patients walked away from Saskatchewan’s ERs before a doctor could get to them – including patients who were considered in urgent need of medical care.
“Brad Wall needs to come clean right now,” said Chartier. “How many health care workers has he cut over the last year, and how many is he planning to cut?”
A layoff notice shared with the NDP is for a front-line worker in the acute care section of Victoria Hospital.