Hindley admits only 17 CCAs hired after 300 promised in election
REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Rural and Remote Health Critic Matt Love grilled the Premier on his Minister of Rural and Remote Health’s brazen and out-of-touch remarks last night at health estimates.
“Moe’s minister is essentially saying that health workers need to suck it up and get on with the job because ‘that’s what they’re paid to do,’ said Beck. “News flash, we’re in a national competition to hire and retain health workers. This brazen disrespect, coupled with a lack of real retention incentives, is sending health workers packing and disrupting services across the province.”
When pressed last night to explain what concrete measures the Sask. Party government was undertaking to retain health workers, Minister Hindley pivoted to salaries and suggested that salary measures are all that’s needed since that provides enough incentive for health workers to do “what they’re paid to do.”
LOVE: I want to separate recruitment and retention. Are those incentives available to those in the long-term care workforce who are currently employed by the SHA, or only to new employees?
HINDLEY: No, that’s for new employees.
LOVE: So is there anything in place to retain those already working?
HINDLEY: Well, no. They, you know, no and yes. You know, the employees that are working there are employees of the system and would be working under contract. Obviously they are salaried employees. I think the, in the case of continuing care aids, I believe they are under a number of different service providers, of which several of these would be renegotiating contracts, including salaries and benefits in the coming months here, and I’m sure those discussions will be part of what that new contact may look like for those existing employees.
LOVE: So the retention strategy is the salary?
HINDLEY: Well that’s what they’re paid to do.
Minister Hindley also admitted last night that after promising 300 new continuing care aids in the 2020 election, only 17 have been hired, and that there has actually been a net loss of CCAs year over year.
“Even if the Sask. Party executed their health plan to a tee, the Provincial Auditor says we’ll still be over a thousand health workers short,” said Love. “The bar could hardly get any lower and the Sask. Party still can’t meet it. Moe and his Ministers just can’t be trusted with our health system.”