REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat called on the Sask. Party government to use windfall revenues to rebuild our health system.
“Scott Moe’s Sask. Party finally announced what they plan to do with windfall revenues this week. They don’t plan to invest a dime of the resource boom to fix our collapsing health system,” said Beck. “We’ve been calling for affordability relief since March and I’m glad they are acting on those calls.”
“The choice to put a billion in the government coffers, with nothing for healthcare is a mistake. You don’t pay down the mortgage when the roof is about to collapse,” she said, standing out front of the now-shuttered Pasqua South Medical Centre, formerly operated by Dr. Tomi Mitchell.
At a press conference this week, Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said that it would not be prudent to invest in the healthcare system now because the oil and potash price boom is temporary. Yesterday, the government of British Columbia announced a plan to invest $118 million to stabilize their health system. Scott Moe chose not to invest any revenues to help our health system while:
- Major hospitals have been at or over capacity all summer
- Emergency rooms across the province are closed due to staffing shortages
- Surgeries and obstetrical services are being suspended to position vacancies
- There are currently 1686 healthcare positions posted for hire
“It’s beyond belief that this government would choose to put blinders on and ignore the crisis in our health system,” said Mowat. “The Sask. Party might lack the vision to fix our health system, but solutions exist. Other provinces that aren’t recording record revenues are stepping up to the challenge and investing in healthcare. Why are Saskatchewan people any less deserving of quality healthcare?”
Beck and Mowat called on the province to examine solutions like recruitment incentives and signing bonuses, expanding and subsidizing healthcare education, and supporting clinics and primary care facilities with ever-increasing costs.