MEADOW LAKE - Today, Official Opposition Status of Women Critic Jennifer Bowes and Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat called on the government to immediately address chronic disruptions to vital mother-baby services across Saskatchewan.
“In the last year alone, labouring mothers have been turned away from hospitals in Yorkton, Swift Current, Estevan and Meadow Lake and forced to drive hours to deliver because of disruptions to obstetric and anesthetic services,” said Bowes. “This is unacceptable and extremely dangerous for both mother and baby. The Sask. Party has ignored and neglected women’s maternal and sexual health issues for far too long.”
Bowes and Mowat were joined by Kendal Carlberg outside the Meadow Lake Hospital as she recounted her traumatic experience delivering her child. In March 2021, Kendal was turned away from the hospital due to staffing shortages and forced to travel to Lloydminster to deliver her baby. She delivered on the side of the road with the help of her partner and a paramedic. The Meadow Lake Hospital provides services to the community as well as surrounding Indigenous and Northern communities.
“The Saskatchewan Government needs to address the systemic collapse of the healthcare system,” said Kendal. “Our professionals are overworked and our people are underserviced. This crisis is especially pronounced in our Northern and rural communities.”
“Kendal is just one of many women who have been affected by chronic disruptions to obstetrical and anesthesia care across Saskatchewan,” said Mowat. “Saskatchewan has a terrible record for retaining OB’s and anesthesiologists - 20% and 50%, respectively. Just as bad, we have a government that lacks any curiosity to get to the bottom of why that is.”
“The Health Minister hasn’t shown his face at a public press conference since May. Enough is enough. Summer’s over, and it’s time to come back to work,” said Mowat.