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Health Sciences President Reacts to Provincial Budget

Regina (March 20, 2013) – The 2013-2014 Saskatchewan Provincial Budget, with its 4.5% increase ($131.8 Million) in base operating funding for Saskatchewan health regions, means those regions should get on with the job of improving needed health care services, and becoming more accountable to the public for the tax dollars they spend, Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan President Karen Wasylenko said immediately following the introduction of the provincial budget.

“Too many Saskatchewan health regions have been under-staffing specialized health care professionals, reducing needed health care services in the process. As of this week, there are more than sixty professional health care positions being advertised as vacant in our health regions, while many more positions sit vacant, but health region managers refuse to advertise them. Health region vacancy management has meant longer waiting lists and unsafe access for many of the health care services our professionals provide,” Wasylenko told reporters.

“While health regions claim they don’t have the budget to staff these positions, they continue to hide their actual staffing levels from both the public and health care professionals, and refuse to be fully accountable for the level of health care services that they are offering,” Wasylenko noted.

“We think our health care professionals, and the public, have the right to know: the number of full-time, part-time and casual positions each Health Region considers to be full staffing for our professions, and how those levels have changed from year to year; what level of service health care employers expect to achieve with those staffing levels, and whether those service levels meet the professional standards for each professional group; and finally, how many vacancies health care employers really have among our professions, and what impact these vacancies are having on response times and waiting lists for patient services,” Wasylenko added.

Health Sciences represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals from more than thirty health care professions. Members include: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Therapists; Rehab professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community-based professionals like Public Health Inspectors, Psychologists and Social Workers.

For Further Information Contact:

Kate Robinson
Communications, Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan
306-221-6316

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