The NDP says the Sask. Party needs to address the issues that are leading to overcrowding and hallway medicine. Since Angela McLean, who spent five days in a Pasqua Hospital hallway waiting for a room, shared her stories, others have begun to come forward to voice their concerns. The latest is an emergency room nurse who describes the Emergency Room as “a very stressful and unsafe place to work that recycles staff faster than bottles at SARCAN.” 

“Under this government’s watch, long wait times and hallway medicine have become the norm in our ERs,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “At the General Hospital, we’ve been told that rooms 29, 30 and 31 are not rooms — they’re spaces in the hall. This failure to ensure that patients get the care they need is letting people down.”

The nurse reached out to the NDP Opposition this week in response to comments from the Minister and said that hallway medicine “happens daily.” 

The NDP caucus also obtained a redacted a memo that the Saskatchewan Health Authority provided to staff at the Regina General Hospital. The memo indicated that emergency department staff turnover at the Regina General and Regina Pasqua Hospitals has risen sharply since the SHA was formed.

The memo says the emergency department staff out-migration rate was 55 percent at the Pasqua Hospital and 40 percent at the General Hospital, compared to 35 percent at the former RQHR. It also reports that medication and treatment errors have become more common as a result of high turnover and “staff being overwhelmed.”

“Instead of dealing with the outbreak of crystal meth on our streets and providing enough long-term beds, we’re seeing cutbacks and inaction,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “We need a government willing to put people first by addressing the issues that are putting increased strains on our Emergency Rooms.”