The Saskatchewan NDP is calling for infrastructure investments into Saskatchewan Long-term Care homes and a concrete plan to address healthcare infrastructure after written questions submitted by the NDP revealed the value of needed repairs in Saskatchewan’s Health facilities has risen to $3.5 billion.

“Facilities across the province are crumbling and understaffed, and residents aren’t getting the care they need — that’s what we heard loud and clear from last week’s CEO report,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “With these deferred maintenance numbers today, we can see just how bad the problem has gotten, with $3.5 billion in repairs needed to restore these facilities to the kind of condition you’d feel comfortable letting a loved one stay in.”

There were $2.2 billion worth of needed repairs in Saskatchewan Health facilities in 2013, a figure that has now ballooned to a staggering $3,491,710,984, an increase of 59% since the last VFA report was released.   

The document released by the NDP also shows the average facility condition index in each of the former health regions as of last summer. A facility rated at 35 per cent or higher is considered “critical.” Fully two thirds (eight out of 12) of the regions’ health facilities were in critical condition, including Regina Qu’Appelle (52 per cent) and Saskatoon (49 per cent). 

This year’s CEO Tour report highlights many examples of seniors living in inadequate housing conditions and with limited access to quality-of-life equipment: 

  • “Infrastructure concerns, ongoing issues related to roof leak that has impacted use of the dining/common area. Ongoing for years, very challenging” (Lumsden, 109).
  • “Home is old - asbestos labelling; crowded hallways; mold issues in tub room” (Moose Jaw, p. 127).
  • “Sidewalk and ramp breaking down creating a tripping hazard outside the building” (Meadow Lake, p. 118).
  • “Call system is a continuing concern; Phone system is also beyond repair with constant challenges” (Middle Lake, p. 124).

“By letting the infrastructure issues continue to linger, the Sask. Party is simply letting more and more people down,” said NDP Seniors Critic Danielle Chartier. “The Premier needs to shelve the talking points and step up with a real plan that ensures seniors are safe in their care homes and receiving the dignified care they deserve.”