Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Critic for Seniors Matt Love called on the Sask. Party government today to take serious action in Long Term Care to ensure that we do not see the tragic outcomes experienced in Manitoba and other jurisdictions repeated in Saskatchewan.
We know long-term care settings are at high risk for Covid-19,” said Meili. “The modelling released yesterday by Dr. Shahab makes it clear lives are at stake. We have called for a three week circuit breaker to protect business and families. The government must act now to protect our loved ones who are the most susceptible to the virus.”
Love noted cases are rising in long-term care and seniors housing facilities in the province. In several jurisdictions, including Manitoba, similar settings are the site of severe outbreaks.
“As the new critic for Seniors, I have been talking to families and care providers in the past few weeks. It’s clear people do not know what is being done, and what is being planned, to keep family members safe,” said Love. “We know staff and medical professionals are doing everything they can, but the fact is people are scared. The government needs to make a plan and communicate that plan clearly to everyone in Saskatchewan."
The Official Opposition is calling for:
- Funding from the government’s Covid-19 contingency fund to staff up in Long Term Care, as well as in Home Care to help keep more seniors safely at home
- Regular and clear communication on pandemic outbreaks, and steps taken to mitigate those outbreaks, in long-term care settings
- An independent review of the state of long-term care, where understaffing and inadequate care are a chronic problem and pose real risk today
- An emergency protocol be put in place to guarantee minimum standards of care, with the appropriate resident to caregiver ratios, minimum hours of daily care for each resident in Long Term Care and reduction of the number of residents per room
- An immediate and public review of staffing levels, including the measures taken to ensure that staff are not working in more than one facility
- Work with families and community organizations to address the mental health needs of of seniors, including increased access to technology to allow for more socialization opportunities for residents in long-term care settings and those in self-isolation at home
“It is clear from what we have seen in other provinces that the time to act to protect seniors is now,” said Meili. “The government has had months to act, but we’ve seen no plan. We need to immediately staff up, reduce the number of residents per room and establish clear communication with families and the people of Saskatchewan.”