SHELLBROOK - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck was joined by healthcare workers and concerned community members at the Shellbrook Hospital in Premier Moe’s riding to address service closures and their not being made public by the SHA.
“Health care workers from Shellbrook have joined me in front of the hospital because they feel this government is refusing to admit that our health system is in crisis,” said Beck. “If the premier can find time to fly to New York on the taxpayer’s dime, there’s no excuse for him to ignore the concerns of healthcare workers and the obstacles to their retention in his own backyard.”
Shellbrook’s hospital is the only acute care facility serving a region already compromised by repeated closures of emergency services in neighbouring Spiritwood. Since May 20th, ten of Shellbrook’s twenty acute care beds have been closed. Staffing shortages are also limiting lab, x-ray and diagnostic imaging services. These closures were not reported on the SHA website, as is government policy. Service disruptions and bed closures have become a regular occurrence for small urban and rural communities throughout Saskatchewan under the Sask. Party government.
“We are in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis in rural Saskatchewan. Unless steps are taken to improve working conditions in health care, I am afraid for the future of care in Shellbrook,” said Sharon Paul, CUPE General Vice President for the Region. “I am afraid for my family members who live in the service area. Where will they go when these beds are filled? What will happen when they need lab tests, and samples have to be sent to Saskatoon? What will happen when they need an x-ray and we have no x-ray techs? These are questions being faced by health care workers across the province.”