6,200 jobs cut from health care and social services

While Saskatchewan people are working harder than ever – and it shows in July’s labour statistics – the government has continued the alarming trend of shedding jobs in health care and social services.

There were 6,200 fewer jobs in the category of health care and social services in July, compared to one year earlier. 2,300 of those jobs were lost in just one month, between June and July, according to Statistics Canada’s July Labour Force Survey, released Friday.

“We know hospitals, seniors care homes and other health centres are short-staffed – often so short-staffed that patient care is compromised and patient safety is put at risk,” said Trent Wotherspoon, deputy leader of the Opposition. “Complicating matters, far too many of the jobs we do have in health care are for senior administrators – not front-line staff, caring for and treating patients.”

Wotherspoon criticized the untold millions going to American consultants and Japanese senseis for the government's Lean experiment in health care while the number of actual front-line workers is dropping.

Job losses in social services are also a concern, according to Wotherspoon, especially when it comes to children in care. Social services workers responsible for foster children and other children at risk already have unreasonable caseloads, according to the Children’s Advocate, which is putting children in precarious situations at even greater risk. 

“The construction sector and others are doing their part for the economy – but the government is completely failing to hold up its end of the bargain,” said Wotherspoon. “Without more front-line workers the long waits, overcrowded emergency rooms and shortage of home care will only get worse. The seniors care crisis will deepen and the experiences of loved ones suffering as a result will continue. And vulnerable children will continue being put at greater risk. All of this has to stop – the government has got to start fixing the basics instead of being obsessed with its wasteful pet projects.”

Other sectors that lost jobs included: Manufacturing (-400); Transportation and Warehousing (-1,500); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (-100); Business, Building and other Support Services (-200); Information, Culture and Recreation (-2,700); and other services (-2,900).