Patient First Requires Safe Staffing!

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The Saskatchewan government is setting our public health care system up for a fall. 

The privatization of services such as MRIs, surgeries, and laundry has resulted in the disruption of public health care services, reduced access to sanitary laundry and linens in health care facilities, fewer good jobs in many Saskatchewan communities, and profits leaving our province. Other programs have recently been cut including the audiology program leaving those who are hearing impaired without necessary public health care resources.  
 
SEIU-West health care providers see the lack of provincial government funding in our public health care system deteriorating the quality that is expected by the public. 
 
As staff layoffs and funding cutbacks occur, health care providers in all areas experience higher workload burdens as they are left to pick up the pieces of a system in critical disarray. We know that every health care provider is an essential piece of our health care team. Yet, critical retention and recruitment issues have grown. 
 
Year after year, more job classifications are added to the ‘hard to recruit’ list, leaving health care providers working short.
 
This, in combination with chronic understaffing within Saskatchewan’s Health Care system, is creating unsafe care environments resulting in injury or worse to the patients, residents, and staff.
 
The Ombudsman report in 2015 responded to the growing public criticism about staffing levels in long term care; the bottom line is that the motto “patient and family first” is just words, not action.
 
Front line health care providers have crushing workloads and decreased support; all in the name of cost savings. With the government’s proposed wage and benefit rollbacks to health care providers, this situation will only get worse.
 
It is time for our government to invest adequate funding to support mandatory minimum staff to patient ratios to prevent mistakes, compromised care and tragedies from happening in the health care sector. 
 
SEIU-West health care providers want to deliver improved, quality patient first care. But how can health care workers provide service that puts patients first when our provincial government continues to put health care workers last?
 
Send a message to the Minister of Health, Jim Reiter, and your MLA today! Just click ‘participate’!