NDP: Concerns about hometown healthcare amplified at 2022 SUMA convention

REGINA - In light of the concerns raised by municipal leaders over the state of healthcare during this week’s Saskatchewan Association of Urban Municipalities (SUMA) convention, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Critic for Municipalities Carla Beck called on the government to acknowledge the growing gaps in Saskatchewan’s health system and commit to fixing them with a long-term plan.

“Saskatchewan’s hometowns have struggled with chronic disruptions to care for years,” Meili said. “Doctors and care workers are flowing out of our health system and out of their communities. This government’s response? A budget so short on sustained and serious investment that municipal leaders know first-hand are needed to actually address this problem.”

Healthcare recruitment and retention have been top of mind to SUMA delegates who intend to petition the Ministers of Health and Rural and Remote Health to “develop and implement a long-term recruiting and retention plan.” Delegates claim “emergent and acute health care is failing throughout Saskatchewan,” citing the lack of a comprehensive strategy and insufficient funding. Communities across the province continue to be impacted by service disruptions making those in need travel further for emergency care. 

“Today alone, leaders from Kamsack, Canora, Herbert, Broadview, Biggar, Porcupine Plain, Preeceville, Wilkie, Lanigan, Esterhazy are dealing with closures,” Beck said. “The future vibrancy and growth of our communities hinges on healthcare, and your access to that healthcare shouldn’t be determined by your postal code.”

The Official Opposition calls on the government to implement the recommendations raised by SUMA delegates and establish a long-term plan for the recruitment and retention of healthcare personnel. 

-30-