The impacts of the Sask. Party’s recent budgets are still hurting families throughout the province in many ways. For instance, many are now struggling with the consequences of the Sask. Party cut to the Hearing Aid Plan – a service that provided audiological evaluation, hearing aids and fittings, counselling and education.
“After years of blowing through record revenues, the Sask. Party panicked when the money ran out and started cutting in areas that would hurt the most vulnerable,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “For over 40 years, this was a program that helped so many people and families throughout the province. It hasn’t taken long to see the damage that cutting it has done.”
Stephanie Schneck and her 9-year-old daughter Gracie are among the many who have borne the brunt of these Sask. Party cuts. Gracie needs $6,400 hearing aids, but her parents can't afford to pay for them and have been forced to hold fundraisers to provide her with the health services she needs. Stephanie is currently working three jobs just to make ends meet.
“The cut to the Hearing Aid Program continues to be a burden on me and my family in so many different ways,” Schneck said. “No family should have to go through this. The financial hardships are stressful, the long wait times are frustrating, and seeing Gracie not get the help she needs because of additional cuts in the classroom is heartbreaking.”
“The Sask. Party seems not to understand that cutting a program like this is not the way to improve health outcomes,” NDP Leader Ryan Meili said. “People like Stephanie are being forced to fundraise for things their kids can’t do without while the government is wasted millions at the GTH alone. This poor decision simply can not be justified, which is why we’re calling for the immediate reinstatement of the Hearing Aid Plan.”