SASKATOON - In light of today’s announcement that the Saskatchewan Health Authority will be taking over all for-profit Extendicare Long-Term Care facilities in Saskatchewan, Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Matt Love welcomed the announcement that the Sask. Party is moving away from the deadly for-profit care but questioned why it took so long for the province to act on known dangerous and deadly living conditions at Extendicare facilities in Saskatchewan in the first place.
“Today’s announcement is one that’s long overdue,” said Love. “Our party has been highlighting the issues with this private care provider in Saskatchewan for nearly a decade. The issues at Extendicare aren’t new, and it shouldn’t have taken so long for this government to act.”
The Saskatchewan NDP has been calling for seniors’ care reform and for the implementation of recommendations from the Provincial Auditor and Provincial Ombudsman for years. Some examples include:
- March 2014 – Tabled seniors bill of rights
- May 2020: – Call for minimum care standards to be implemented
- July 2020 – Call to appoint a seniors advocate
- October 2020 – Call for stay-at-home care
- November 2020 – Call to protect seniors in LTC from second wave
- February 2021 – Calls to end for-profit long-term care
Love noted that going back to 2012, families, independent officers of the legislature and the Official Opposition have highlighted the inadequate standards within Extendicare facilities and have called for minimum care standards to be implemented.
“What’s so sad about today’s announcement is that it took the preventable loss of so many lives in our long term care homes for this government to act,” said Love. “Our seniors in this province deserve more than out-of-sight, out-of-mind care. Though removing for-profit Extendicare from the equation is a positive first step, we need to ensure that we are improving care standards in all our long-term care facilities.”
The Sask NDP is calling to:
- Rollover all Extendicare long-term care staff into the Saskatchewan Health Authority
- Implement all outstanding recommendation from independent officers, including inspections of all LTC homes and publicly report conditions in each home
- Agree to the full implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations from her upcoming report within the year
- Step up and finally provide the necessary funding to the sector to protect those most at risk in the pandemic
- Introduce legislation to reinstate minimum standards of care.