For immediate release: October 8, 2021
SASKATOON - Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Health Critic Vicki Mowat urged Premier Moe and the Sask. Party government to follow the advice given by the medical community on gathering limits and finally request federal help in light of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s transition to triaging of lifesaving care.
“It’s beyond belief the premier has not yet made a formal request to the federal government to support our frontline health workers. The SHA is telling doctors people will die because they don’t have any more capacity left,” said Meili. “For Scott Moe to have not just picked up the phone and asked for health workers is beyond negligent, it’s inviting disaster.”
Yesterday’s Saskatchewan Health Authority Physician Town Hall was explicit on the crisis the province currently faces and steps needing to be taken:
- “Restrictions in personal and public gathering sizes are needed once again”
- The inpatient capacity for COVID-19 patients is equivalent to Swift Current, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw hospitals combined.
- Anticipated impacts include “substandard care for those in critical need and/or at risk of death” and “increased preventable deaths”.
- “Thanksgiving gatherings will only add fuel to the fire”.
“Saskatchewan leads the nation in case and death rates, and we continue to see a government sitting on their hands even though lives are at stake. Our health system continues to head towards disaster -- if now isn’t the time to act, when is it?” said Mowat. “We’re already entering our fall and winter of misery; we need critical action now before we reach the point of no return.”
Saskatchewan New Democrats are calling for:
- A return to indoor gathering limits for both public and private events until cases and hospitalizations stabilize.
- Urgent request to the federal government to assist in expanding health system capacity.
- Clear guidance on the SHA’s role interacting with the new Disaster Response Team.