The Saskatchewan NDP called for an explanation from Health Minister Jim Reiter regarding serious gaps in Saskatchewan’s healthcare capacity, with internal memos indicating rising pressures on testing and bed occupancy, and public complaints of immunocompromised patients being left in hallways. NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat and NDP Leader Ryan Meili were joined by Angela McLean, a woman who spoke out last fall after being left in a crowded hallway in the Pasqua Hospital for nearly a week. 

“We’ve had months to prepare the health system for re-opening,” said Mowat. “Minister Reiter has failed to plan for the health system’s needs in a COVID-19 resurgence and now families and patients are paying the price.”

McLean is again raising the alarm about hallway medicine because a close friend who is immunocompromised and severely ill found herself in the same situation: indefinitely admitted to a hallway in the same hospital because of a lack of available beds.

“Last fall Minister Reiter called what happened to me ‘unacceptable’ and promised an investigation. How could we possibly find ourselves back in the same situation?” said Angela McLean, speaking on behalf of her friend who did not want her name used. “He’s had months to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19, so how is it possible that there’s nowhere but a hallway to put someone who is immunocompromised and severely ill, in the middle of a global pandemic?”

McLean says a bed was found for her friend 24 hours after the woman was admitted, but this happened only after she raised the alarm. 

Mowat says the woman’s experience as described is backed up by the SHA Daily Rounds internal newsletter which indicates that the R value for COVID-19 spread is over 2 in many parts of the province and lists several emerging issues, including an increase in bed occupancy concentrated in Saskatoon, increased spread among the younger population, and the fact that “Most testing sites are currently running at maximum capacity.” 

“For years, this government has stretched the health system beyond capacity, endangering patients and leaving families with real worries about their loved ones,” said Meili. “If that’s the ‘normal’ they’re returning to, the warning light is flashing red that the system can’t take the strain. Patients are suffering as a result of Minister Reiter’s failure to do his job. If this is what’s happening now, how can we have any faith the Minister is doing what’s necessary to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases?”

Latest posts

SARM Sounds Alarm on Healthcare Crisis Facing Rural Saskatchewan

SARM joins Carla Beck’s NDP in call for Grow Your Own staffing strategy

REGINA - Today, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) sounded the alarm on healthcare “staff shortages throughout rural areas of the province”. SARM called the situation a “crisis” and urged the provincial government to start up a Grow Your Own staffing strategy, something Carla Beck’s NDP has also called for.

Moe Driving Docs, Nurses out of Rural Sask: New CIHI data

Rural communities lost 21% of registered nurses since Scott Moe became Premier

SASKATOON - Today, the Official Opposition responded to new workforce data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). The most recent data shows that doctors and nurses have been leaving rural Saskatchewan communities in droves since Scott Moe became Premier in 2018.

Carla Beck to host townhall in Moose Jaw

Dear Moose Jaw Residents,

We hope this message finds you well. As a part of our ongoing commitment to listening to local voices and building made-in-Saskatchewan solutions, we are pleased to invite you to our upcoming Townhall Meeting in Moose Jaw on February 29 at the Timothy Eaton Centre from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.

Share this page