The Sask. Party are letting people, workers and patients, down in Saskatoon’s hospitals with massive infrastructure backlogs at both St. Paul’s Hospital and the Royal University Hospital. According to a Freedom of Information request, workers at St. Paul’s are holding on to their desks to prevent their chairs from sliding down sloping floors.
“Because of Sask. Party neglect of infrastructure issues, staff are getting sore arms from holding themselves in place,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Healthcare workers have a stressful enough job as it is, dealing with understaffing and overcrowding. It’s shocking that fixing these sloping floors hasn’t been a priority for the Sask. Party.”
According to the government’s 2013 health facility assessment, Royal University Hospital alone needs $140 million worth of repairs and St. Paul’s needs $94 million worth of repairs. Both hospitals were deemed to be in critical condition.
Instead of ramping up investment to deal with the backlog of needed repairs, the Sask. Party’s planned investment in health infrastructure has plummeted 60% since 2015-16. As a result, needed maintenance costs have ballooned, with the health region indicating their suite of assets are now in critical condition with an estimated $3.3 billion in needed repairs.
Documents revealed numerous other infrastructure issues at Royal University Hospital include missing ceiling tiles, leaking pipes as well as holes in the floor. These structural issues are in rooms throughout the hospital including operating rooms as well as the postpartum unit and nuclear medicine unit.
“I can’t imagine having a loved one being operated on in a room that is leaking because the ceiling ducts are broken or trying to recover in a room where floor tiles are missing,” Meili said. “It’s clear that people are not the priority when there are sloping floors and crumbling infrastructure in the province’s hospitals. Putting people first ensures proper funding would be in place before workers start rolling away.”