REGINA – Today, the Official Opposition released an internal Saskatchewan Health Authority report compiled from a visit by SHA officials to Extendicare Parkside on December 2, 2020. The report flags inconsistencies and lack of PPE available to staff, in addition to concerns raised by frontline workers that they were being “harassed” by the employer if they reported feeling ill and self-isolated at home.
“This inspection took place on December 2nd, before the outbreak had fully spiralled out of control. Why did the Minister sit on this information?” asked Love. “They were told Extendicare was pressuring sick employees to come to work around our most vulnerable people? This is just one of many red flags that this government chose to ignore to fatal consequences.”
Serious concerns around Extendicare’s LTC facilities have repeatedly been brought to government, dating back to the very first CEO tour report in 2013 which identified issues with quadruple bunking of seniors.
The day before the inspection on December 2nd, MLA Love called on the Minister to implement additional protections for Extendicare staff and residents. Minister Hindley cited the existing safety measures then pointed to the fact that the government was hiring 300 CCAs, a promise they promptly broke in the most recent budget.
“What this clearly demonstrates is that this government had more than enough warning signs that there were issues with Extendicare and chose not to act,” said Love. “When you’ve got 1 death for every 14 beds at Extendicare facilities compared to 1 death for every 193 beds at SHA-run homes, I think the families of those residents deserve some accountability. This Minister needs to answer why his government chose to ignore those long-standing issues.”