Provision of Health Care Services

A senior Sask Party MLA said Saskatchewan citizens cannot expect the provincial government to deliver both highways and health care.
“Which do they want, highways or health care?”
– Sask Party MLA Dan D’Autremont, Government House Leader
(The Moosomin World-Spectator, August 2, 2010)
This flippant attitude toward the provision of health care services has led to the situation which we are in today:
Wait lists for surgery have grown. Here are some examples of how
surgical wait lists have grown since just 2009: in the Five Hills Health
Region, they’ve increased 4.3%; in PA Parkland, they’ve increased 12%;
in Cypress, they’ve jumped 25%; in Prairie North, they’ve leaped 66%;
and in Kelsey Trail, they’ve skyrocketed 89% (data from the Saskatchewan
Surgical Initiative,, July 2011).
Funding for 13 long-term care homes across Saskatchewan was also cancelled.
Hospitals and health services have been shut down, including most recently in Wakaw.
Yet, at the same time, health region CEOs have experienced massive
wage increases, including the CEO of Saskatoon Health Region more than
doubling in six years, from $183,768 to over $400,000 a year.

We need a health plan for boomers now

October 31, 2011


From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

Health care’s future doesn’t have to be a doomsday scenario if practical solutions are put in place

The aging population and the concomitant rise in people living with chronic illnesses pose many public policy challenges.

The response to this demographic reality has largely been apocalyptic defeatism – an assumption that the rising tide of seniors will overwhelm and bankrupt health programs and there’s nothing we can do about it.

This alarmist view of our aging society is challenged in a thoughtful new report from the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Instead of falling prey to ageist fear-mongering, Neena Chappell, the Canada research chair in social gerontology and a professor in the Centre on Aging of the University of Victoria, takes a level-headed look at the data and offers up practical solutions for meeting the health needs of the baby boom generation. (more…)

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Hospitals unopened

By Ray Heather, The StarPhoenix November 1, 2011

With the provincial election around the corner, the political ads and rhetoric have started.

Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party are saying they don’t want to go back to the deficit budgets of the

1980s. Yet Wall and some members of his party were at that time avid supporters of the Progressive Conservative Party and its policies that got Saskatchewan into such massive debt.

When the voters elected an NDP government, that party had to slash government spending, to avoid bankruptcy.

One of the results was the closure of 52 rural hospitals.

This move cost the NDP a lot of support in rural Saskatchewan and led in part to the rise of the Saskatchewan Party’s support in rural areas.

Now Wall and his party state that the NDP is no friend to rural Saskatchewan because of the hospital closures.

Since the Saskatchewan Party formed government, it has had unprecedented revenues coming into the provincial Treasury.

It has increased spending, but strangely enough, none of this new spending has resulted in the reopening of even one of the rural hospitals that were closed.

Could this mean that, although the closures were politically unpopular, they still were a restructuring that was needed?

Ray Heather


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Read it as a PDF: Hospitals unopened

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Health staff issue

By Shelly Banks, The StarPhoenix November 2, 2011

I sure hope that Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party are not convincing the general public that they have increased staffing levels in the health sector.

As a health provider, my experience is that they have tried to address staffing issues for registered nurses, while the rest struggle. The public ought to know that there are staff shortages regularly in such hands-on care classifications as special care aides and licensed practical nurses.

Visit a community nursing home and you will see it for yourself. Those who work in diagnostic classifications are routinely required to work overtime. Critical retention and recruitment issues have been largely ignored. (more…)

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Health union raises concern about layoff plan

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix October 26, 2011

The Saskatoon Health Region says there is no “hidden agenda” for health-care layoffs after the provincial election.

The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) said Tuesday the union is concerned about potential job cuts following a notice letter sent in early October to discuss the proposed layoff of an addictions counsellor for children and youth from mental health and addictions services.

The region refused a meeting until after the election, the union contends, putting “politics” above jobs. (more…)

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Care givers are burned out

At the time of the initial posting, the website source ( was not available. For now you can read this article as a PDF: Caregivers are burned out

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Incredible claim

By Shawna Colpitts, The StarPhoenix October 28, 2011

Labour Minister Don Morgan said in a TV interview on Oct. 21 that his government’s essential services law was done in a manner respectful of unions and union workers.

Does he really believe that health-care providers felt respected when they waited 27 months for a contract? They were force-fed rollbacks in exchange for a paltry wage increase, only to discover weeks later that some outof-scope employees and CEOs were lined up for 60 per cent increases? (more…)

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Saskatchewan Leaders Debate

By Barbara Cape

I spent my Tuesday evening watching the recent leader’s debate for our provincial election and I’ve got a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

First of all, a true Leader’s Debate should include the leaders of all political parties: SaskParty, NDP, Greens and Liberals. Each have valuable points of view that we should all hear, regardless of the ‘market share’ outcome. I am disappointed that the media coordinated this debate and created rules to limit the participants.

I don’t know who ‘won’ or ‘lost’ this debate, but I did think that it was interesting that Mr. Wall wanted to ‘fact check’ Mr. Lingenfelter’s comments. I’d like to do the same. I’m not sure if they realize but the majority of the work being done in the healthcare system is done by the whole team – and that team includes technologists, LPN’s, special care aides, environmental and food services workers, admin and maintenance staff… it’s all of us who make up the healthcare experience. (more…)

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No free services

By George B. Flemming, The StarPhoenix October 25, 2011

Re: Privatizing helps (SP, Oct. 18). There are so many things wrong with this letter that I don’t know where to begin.

The most glaring error – one that Allie Klassen shares with many people – is that we have “free” schools and health care. What we have are publicly funded schools and health care. There is a huge difference.

As for the private clinics, perhaps Premier Brad Wall should be asked what will happen to them when the surgical backlog is cleared. I am no fan of unions, but in many cases they have legitimate concerns and all governments, of whatever stripe, should have their feet held to the fire.

George B. Flemming

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Read it as a PDF: No free services

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Regina firm suing Calgary-based company over surgical contract

By Barb Pacholik, Leader-Post October 21, 2011

REGINA — Contending that it’s being cut out of a potential $10 million, a private surgical centre in Regina is suing after a Calgary-based company was awarded a long-term contract under a plan to expand day surgery services.

The suit launched by Omni Surgery Centre Ltd. against the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) was filed Thursday in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Welcome support

By Nathan Holowaty, The StarPhoenix October 20, 2011

Since the Occupy Wall Street protests started more than a month ago, it has been encouraging to see how Canada and the rest of the world has embraced this movement in a show of solidarity with the American protesters.

Many Canadians who have family members in the U.S. such as myself, (my mother is an American citizen) have much sympathy for the plight of the so-called 99 per cent who have been victimized by a greedy, unregulated and unaccountable financial sector. (more…)

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