Sask. Party ignores crisis in healthcare while Saskatchewan hospitals reach overcapacity

Sask. Party more focused on taking away human rights from children than fixing healthcare

SASKATOON - Following overcapacity issues at Saskatoon hospitals in recent weeks, Official Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat and Rural and Remote Health Critic Matt Love today called on the government to do their job and focus on the real crises facing Saskatchewan patients and Saskatchewan healthcare.

“We have patients arriving in hospitals who end up stuck for hours in waiting rooms and hallways. The Sask. Party has failed to listen to and work with our healthcare workers, and now there’s been a domino effect of failures throughout the system,” said Mowat. “I hear daily from healthcare workers who are frustrated with this Sask. Party government for not taking any action, and patients are paying the price. We desperately need change, and that starts with a change in government.”

Healthcare workers in Saskatchewan’s healthcare system have been sounding the alarm as Saskatchewan’s hospitals hit overcapacity and patients are treated in hallways. Royal University Hospital, one of Saskatchewan’s largest hospitals, has been at overcapacity for weeks. This morning, there were 88 patients waiting to be transferred to a different bed and 41 patients in the ER without a bed.

Rather than debate these critical issues facing Saskatchewan healthcare, the Sask. Party has instead convened the first emergency sitting in 24 years to debate the removal of human rights of students in Saskatchewan schools.  

“Our healthcare workers are doing all they can, but they’re understaffed and burning out. There’s no serious retention strategy. There’s no serious recruitment strategy. There’s just no real plan,” said Love. “And instead of calling for an emergency debate to fix our healthcare system, the Sask. Party has decided to focus all their time on pronouns in schools. The only way we’re going to fix healthcare in this province is with a new government.”

Love also pointed to continued issues within rural healthcare. Community hospitals are closing, forcing residents to drive long hours just to receive emergency care. Acute care services in the town of Broadview have been “temporarily unavailable” since June 2021.  In Wilkie, emergency and outpatient services have been “temporarily unavailable” since June 2021. Lanigan, Watrous, Redvers and Wolseley are all on long-term reduced services and reduced hours of operation. In Biggar, emergency room services will only be open sporadically throughout the month of October. Love reiterated that these are the real emergencies we should be debating in an emergency sitting.

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