REGINA - In light of news that pediatric treatments and therapies have been suspended as a result of staff redeployment throughout the health system, Education and Early Years Critic Carla Beck is calling on the province to reach out to neighbouring provinces and accept the federal offer for much-needed personnel to allow treatments and therapies for Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable kids to resume.
“Kids with complex needs shouldn’t have to pay the price for this government’s mishandling of the 4th wave. It isn’t too late to change course - this government needs to admit we’re in trouble, pick up the phone, and ask for help,” said Beck. “If we don’t act now, these kids will lose this valuable window for development and growth. Worse, they could regress, suffer lifelong impacts from this disruption of care.”
Health staff have been redeployed across the health system including occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, child psychologists and physical therapists. Since the suspension of most services at the Kinsmen Children’s Centre in Saskatoon and Wascana Rehab in Regina, families have identified the devastating impact of vulnerable kids with medical conditions and complex needs losing access to therapies, cancellation of surgeries and diagnostics including MRIs. Dr. Ayisha Kurji, a pediatrician from Saskatoon spoke out on the costs already borne by vulnerable kids, highlighting that in rural areas there are kids who at the beginning of the pandemic could walk but no longer walk on their own since the loss of their therapies and treatment.
“Imagine being able to just pick up the phone and ensure kids get the care they need, and choosing not to,” said Beck. “Scott Moe needs to do something. If he won’t, he needs to pick up the phone and call families who are hurting to explain why.”