New ad says patients should be the priority – not consultants

A new commercial from the New Democrats takes aim at the Sask. Party's choice to spend big on consultants and top-heavy management in health care instead of making patients the priority. 

The commercial was released Wednesday on television and online.

“This ad cuts right to a reality that everyday Saskatchewan families are coping with,” said New Democrat campaign manager Frank Quennell. “The hours a parent waits in an ER with their little one, or the months we wait for a specialist appointment – those waits are painful and full of anxiety. That reality is especially frustrating because after a decade of resource wealth, it definitely doesn’t have to be this way.

“The fact is, when the resource boom was delivering record revenues, the Sask. Party spent it on Lean and more spending on top executives in health care. Now that the price of oil is down, is the Sask. Party cutting Lean? No – they’re cutting surgeries and front-line staff.”

Quennell said the Sask. Party’s misplaced priorities have caused waste to pile up. John Black, an American Lean consultant, took home $40 million, and the Sask. Party established more than a dozen Lean promotion offices throughout the province at a cost of about $20 million per year, plus hundreds of Lean promoters have been hired to work in our health care system. While health care’s front lines are frequently understaffed, the top executives in health care are taking home as much as 46% more money.

In contrast, waits for specialists now average 326 days in Saskatoon, 294 days in Regina and 228 days throughout the province. Since the Sask. Party cuts in March, the number of people waiting more than three months for surgeries has increased 87 per cent.

“I’m proud of Cam Broten’s plan to cut down on bloated administration, end the Lean program, close the Lean promotion offices and put those resources right onto the front lines of care. It’s an important part of his plan to shorten wait times for everyone.”

The commercial, along with background facts for voters, can be found at nottheirpriority.ca.