Moe gov’t uses legal loophole to hide healthcare workforce report, 3rd quarter financials

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat and Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon questioned the Moe government’s lack of transparency. The Sask. Party is using a legal loophole to withhold important reports about the state of the healthcare workforce and the province’s financial position.

“This government is allergic to transparency,” said Mowat. “If their healthcare plan is working so well, they should not hesitate to publish the complete numbers. The fact that they won’t release this workforce report raises a lot of questions about the state of our health system.”

The Medical Services Branch Statistical Report shows how many doctors and specialists are working in Saskatchewan, as well as annual recruitment and graduate retention rates. This important report is usually tabled and published online by December, but this year the Moe government is withholding the report until May. The Opposition FOI-ed the report but the Moe government denied the request, using a loophole in the FOI law to bury it until after the session is over. 

The Moe government is currently pushing less credible healthcare recruitment numbers that often do not take into account the number of healthcare workers who have left Saskatchewan or retired, or often try to pass off prospective employees or open positions as recruitments.

The Opposition also submitted an FOI request for the third quarter financial report, which used to be released in February or early March each year as a standalone report before the budget. The Ministry of Finance refused to release this report too, using a loophole in FOI law that enables the government to withhold the document if they plan to publish it in the future. 

The provincial budget has gone from a billion-dollar surplus at budget time to a quarter-billion-dollar deficit at mid-year. The public, the media, and the Legislature still do not have answers about last month’s $757 million in Cabinet money orders, the Sask. Party’s two-billion-dollar miss on the budget and a billion-dollar deficit.

“This government needs to come clean about their two-billion-dollar miss on the budget and the true state of our finances,” said Wotherspoon. “It’s gross mismanagement and a billion-dollar deficit thanks to this tired and out of touch government. It’s just wrong to bury the true state of the books to hide their mismanagement.”


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