Information obtained through Freedom of Information shows the Sask. Party government paid high-priced US-based Lean consultants to lead healthcare workers through a purge of a pandemic supply warehouse in Regina with the explicit goal of donating, recycling or trashing fifty percent of the pandemic stockpile.

“The Sask. Party’s Lean consultants led healthcare professionals through a ‘spring cleaning’ of the pandemic room at the Regina General Hospital with the explicit goal of reducing inventory by fifty percent,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “They Marie-Kondo’d our pandemic supply warehouse, and we want to know how much that approach contributed to leaving us dangerously short of supplies this spring.”

Of the 588,000 items in the room, close to 300,000 were disposed of, including 166,000 N-95 masks, records indicate. It is unclear how many of those items were replaced, but Sask. Party officials have since acknowledged in committee that the just-in-time inventory model of healthcare delivery has not worked for Saskatchewan and risks leaving the province vulnerable when supplies can’t be sourced domestically. 

With Saskatchewan Health Authority officials raising the alarm this spring about shortages of Personal Protective Equipment, the NDP sought answers to how much the Sask. Party’s Lean approach to pandemic stockpiles contributed to the shortage. 

In Question Period, Mowat called on Premier Moe to apologize to frontline healthcare workers put at risk by PPE shortages this spring.

“Frontline healthcare workers were raising the alarm about ‘extremely limited’ supplies of badly needed equipment and were scrambling to ensure the health system was ready to keep people safe. It must have come as a slap in the face for those workers when the Premier denied there was a shortage of supplies on March 16,” Mowat said. “Will the Premier apologize to the health workers he left scrambling because of supply shortages his government created, while he himself was denying those shortages even existed?”