SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union) responded with shock and growing dismay to recent public statements from Minister of Health Don McMorris regarding the utilization of private surgical care options to reduce backlogs. This reaction comes as a result of information released this week that the SaskParty government is exploring privatization options rather than investing to enhance the public provision of diagnostic tests such as MRIs and CT scans. As well, the SaskParty government is proposing to perform surgeries in private, forprofit clinics.
“When the Minister of Health states publicly that no one cares about the location of their surgery and he doubts patients care if their surgeries are performed in private clinics, we question the context of his statements,” said SEIU-West President Barbara Cape. “Is there a concerted effort by the SaskParty government to devalue the provision of public health care services so as to promote the privatization of such services as a viable option? Why not look at utilizing the public services available in communities such as Humboldt, Rosetown, Swift Current or Moose Jaw to maximum capacity? Would this not be more cost efficient? Monies that ought to be invested in our public system will be re-routed to the private for-profit system with no accountability.”