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Letter: Saskatchewan’s health-care staff shortage means people suffer

In November, provincial premiers joined together to demand the federal government to increase funding through the Canada health transfer. The response was not what provincial leaders had hoped for.

The Government of Canada’s Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos responded with the need to discuss benchmarks to account for improvements to the provincial health-care system.

The response from the provincial premiers was a complete dismissal of the need to show benchmarks to the public for improving health care.

One of the most obvious effects of chronic underfunding and mismanagement of health-care funding has been a staff shortage crisis across the country. Here in Saskatchewan, regularly working short staffed is making a career choice in health care less than desirable.

When we don’t have health-care workers, the people of Saskatchewan suffer. It is that simple — if there are no people to provide health-care services, then those services suffer or get worse; they aren’t available.

Back in May of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during a stop at St. Anne’s in Saskatoon, committed $32 million to long-term care. “This money could be used to increase staffing levels, and perhaps repair ailing infrastructure.”

This money, as stated by Saskatchewan’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Everett Hindley, will instead be used to pay down the pandemic deficit.

How does that help improve health-care services? How does that put health-care workers in a position to provide the required care? It doesn’t.

Martin Been, Saskatoon