Government ignoring more than $2.2 billion in needed hospital repairs

Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities need over $2.2 billion in repairs, according to segments of a report released today – necessary repairs the government has been ignoring.

The report prepared by consulting firm VFA has been kept under wraps by the government, but segments of its findings were released Friday afternoon.

“The extent to which this government has let our hospitals and clinics crumble is shocking,” said NDP health critic Danielle Chartier. “With a strong economy and the needs so great, why is the government making cuts in health care instead of doing more to repair and save what we have?”

The government’s last two budgets called for more than $100 million to be slashed from health care, combined.

“While ignoring the huge needs in facilities, this government has been spending millions for American Lean consultants and flying in senseis from Japan. From what I’m hearing, patients don’t agree with that spending decision – but it’s patients who suffer the consequences,” said Chartier, pointing to facility failures that have forced surgeries to be cancelled, and patient experiences like new mothers and babies having no hot water at the hospital.

The $2.2 billion figure is extremely conservative – it doesn’t take into account consulting or project fees, or the actual price of construction in a tight market. That infrastructure deficit also doesn’t include needed equipment.