Beck calls for action on diagnostic wait times

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Health Critic Vicki Mowat were joined at the Legislature by Jolene Van Alstine, one of the thousands of Saskatchewan people waiting for surgery. Together they called on Scott Moe’s Sask. Party government to address the surgical and diagnostic backlog and to use windfall revenues to incentivize and recruit specialists.

“36,000 Saskatchewan people are waiting for surgery and they’re more than just numbers. All of us know someone - our mom or dad, kids, neighbours, relatives - who is not getting surgery and living in pain because of it,” said Beck. “Saskatchewan people deserve quality healthcare when they need it.”  

Jolene, 42, has lived uncomfortably for over six years with Parathyroid Hyperplasia. She experiences abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and has the bones of an elderly woman, suffering four fractures in the past two years. She and her partner, Miles Sundeen, maintain a temperature of 13 degrees at home to accommodate her irregular body temperature. She has been told that she’ll have to wait another several years for a specialist appointment before she can be placed on the surgery wait list, let alone have a procedure.

“Sadly, Jolene’s story is not unique. Tens of thousands of people are having to choose between waiting years in pain or paying thousands of dollars for treatment elsewhere,” said Mowat. “We urgently need to invest windfall revenues to get more medical specialists to shorten the wait for a diagnosis that is holding many people back from getting the procedures they desperately need.”

-30-