NDP: Most Saskatchewan patients waiting for surgery since Sask. Party took office

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili was joined in the Saskatchewan legislature by Dallas Oberik, a Regina resident waiting on a hip replacement surgery. Nearly 11,000 people have been added to the surgical waitlist under Premier Moe, with tens of thousands uncertain of when they may be able to access a procedure. 

“Medical professionals were pleading with this government back in the summer to take action to avoid massive pressures on our health care system, to avoid this very situation,” said Meili. “We were in trouble even before the pandemic hit. The waitlist for surgeries has been skyrocketing since Premier Moe took office back in 2018. His choice to ignore reasonable medical recommendations has now exacerbated the problem for many Saskatchewan families.”

There is a record 35,000 people on the surgical waitlist. Since the Premier took office back in 2018, the waitlist for surgeries has increased by nearly 11,000 people, a more than 50% increase under his watch. This situation has only worsened throughout the pandemic, as critical health care staff have needed to be redeployed. SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said this week that he wouldn’t even speculate when surgeries would resume.

One of the thousands affected by this Sask. Party government’s decision is Dallas Oberik. Dallas has spent nearly three years on the hip replacement waitlist. Now, due to this government’s failure to act, there is no end in sight for Dallas’ chronic pain and she has waited so long for a new hip that she is now being told that by the time she can finally access a surgery, she may as well have both hips replaced.

“It was their choice to play politics, pandering to a small minority, rather than listening to the medical professionals like Dr. Shahab and the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” said Meili. “The Premier claims it wouldn’t be fair to impose more restrictions. How is ignoring recommendations fair to Dallas, and the thousands of families affected by this Sask. Party government’s politics? These are the stories this Premier and the Sask. Party government ignored when they decided to take the summer off.”

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