NDP wants health facility repair priority list made public

Insects infest Yorkton ORs, NDP demands to know when government will tackle hospital repairs

The NDP is calling on the government to release the capital plan for health care facilities with a timeline for when repairs will happen.

A year-old audit showed a staggering $2.2 billion in desperately needed repairs to Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities. That figure includes $28.1 million in needed repairs in the Yorkton Region Health Centre, which has now cancelled 20 surgeries because of an insect infestation in its operating rooms.

“This government is allowing our hospitals and seniors care homes to get run down and filthy. In some cases, like Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital, they’re literally crumbling,” said Danielle Chartier, NDP health critic.

“Imagine having to clean your own disgusting hospital room before your own surgery because there aren't enough workers to get the job done. Imagine having no hot water on the maternity ward after giving birth. Imagine getting a cancellation call the day before your surgery because of an insect infestation in the operating room. That’s what this government is putting Saskatchewan families through by failing to maintain the hospitals and seniors care homes we own, and it’s completely unacceptable.”

In addition to impacting patients, Chartier said failing to properly maintain health facilities is fiscally irresponsible and will cost taxpayers much more in the long run.

“Instead of dealing with health infrastructure, the government has been dismissing the problems and making excuses,” said Chartier. “Patients, health care professionals and communities deserve to know when their hospitals and health centres will finally have repairs started instead of being allowed to continue to decline.”

While the government's income is billions of dollars higher than 2007, Chartier said a big part of the problem is the government pouring resources into its Lean pet project instead of the basics. Lean spending includes paying for American consultants, flying in Japanese senseis, flying nearly 900 health workers to the United States to visit factories and establishing multi-million-dollar per year Kaizen Promotion Offices.

The facilities audit that identified the $2.2 billion in needed repairs was conducted by Vanderweil Facility Assessors Canada. The audit has been in the government’s hands for least a year, but was covered up until July. The audit revealed that the health infrastructure deficit has more than doubled under this government in just seven years.

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