President’s Annual Message to Members
Year in Review – 2020
2020 has been one of the most challenging years in our 48-year history and its far-reaching impact of Covid- 19 will be etched in our minds for years to come.
In the midst of bargaining with SAHO for a new collective agreement, HSAS was faced with a new and ominous challenge with the March 11th declaration of a world-wide pandemic. Since that declaration, HSAS has been drawn into significant additional work arising from the effects of the pandemic, addressing the associated issues impacting our members, the services they deliver to the public, and the need for members to remain safe when delivering those services.
As members, many of you have experienced upheaval in your workplaces with your work lives disrupted. For some, face to face services have been replaced with virtual visits and remote work, while others have been redeployed to testing sites or assumed roles carrying out contact tracing. To date, some services have yet to be returned to their pre-Covid state of delivery, especially with the second wave bringing significant increases in positive cases this fall. Few HSAS professions have continued to function in their pre-Covid manner. From the very early days of the pandemic and extending to today, safety and access to appropriate PPE are of paramount concern for members in all worksites.
Whether working in acute care, long term care, emergency services, or the community, every member has been affected by the pandemic in some manner and after months of precautions and restrictions, a weary fatigue is felt by many. To say our work lives and the services normally delivered have been altered, is an understatement.
The months since the announcement of a world- wide pandemic on March 11th, have been stressful in a way that we have not previously experienced. There have been challenges for all specialized health care professionals, as well as their families and the communities across this province.
The recent availability of a vaccine to protect against Covid-19 offers the possibility of eventually returning to a state closer to pre-Covid, in our professional as well as personal lives. Some would suggest that we may never return to the old way of doing things. I believe that as time goes by, we will adapt and look back at this time and say, “Yes, I was a part of that very stressful time, and I, as a specialized health care professional contributed to the best of my ability.
Thank you for all that you do for Saskatchewan’s health care system. I wish for you all the best this holiday season.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.