Health care workers should be included under PIDA

PIDA annual report, released Tuesday, says health workers should be included

In agreement with the commissioner, the NDP wants the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) to be changed to include employees of health regions.

“Of those public employees who contact the official Opposition with concerns about their workplace, the majority are health care workers,” said NDP justice critic John Nilson. “Many health care professionals are concerned about patient safety with the implementation of Lean. They have contacted us about specific incidents they say put patients at risk, but so often they want to maintain anonymity because they fear losing their jobs or being punished for speaking out.”

The Public Interest Disclosure commissioner’s annual report says a “significant number” of the inquiries from public employees came from the health care sector this year – but the commissioner’s office doesn’t have the jurisdiction to follow up and protect those workers.

In both its inaugural report one year ago and the 2013-14 report, released Tuesday, the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner calls for the government to consider expanding the protections of PIDA to more employees in the health sector.

“Health care workers should continue to contact the Opposition to express their concerns – it is an effective way to work together to address problems we are seeing in the health care system. But, there should be another channel through which concerns can be registered and investigations can be launched," said Nilson.

“Saskatchewan families deserve to be able to put their trust in health care workers and the health system. That makes it imperative that doctors, nurses and health workers are encouraged to reveal concerns about patient safety and gross mismanagement without fear of repercussions.”