REALITY CHECK: Scott Moe’s Rural Healthcare Woes

When Scott Moe decided to close 12 rural hospital emergency rooms in the middle of a pandemic this year, his decision came without consultation, consideration or warning. We know this because of what his own neglected rural backbenchers said.

“Local folks are being short changed again in rural Saskatchewan” - Long-time rural MLA Greg Brkich, May 26, 2020, Regina Leader-Post

Indeed, Scott Moe’s history of rural healthcare neglect is catching up:

  • Saskatchewan has the second-lowest proportion of physicians per capita among provinces
  • 7 of the 11 former health regions outside Saskatoon and Regina have fewer physicians practicing in their communities than there were in 2015 
  • There are 24% more physicians per capita providing services in Regina and Saskatoon than in other former regions 
  • Three emergency departments remain closed after being shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic with residents unable to understand why
  • Widespread “service disruptions" due to staffing shortages are common: 

Community 

Timeframe of ER Disruptions 

Leader  

Jun. 2017 - Jul. 2019 

Kerrobert 

Dec. 2013 – Aug. 2019 

Biggar 

Dec. 2013 – Aug. 2019 

Herbert 

Oct. 2015 – Jul. 2019 

Davidson 

Dec. 2013 – Mar. 2018 

Lanigan 

Jun. 2017 – Jul. 2018 

Preeceville 

Jan. 2015 – Apr. 2016  

Wolseley 

Jun. 2013 – Mar. 2019  

Broadview 

May 2017 – Sept. 2019 

Arcola 

May 2016 

Radville  

Dec. 2013 – Jul. 2019 

*Source: FOI requests

 

Overly satisfied with the status quo, Scott Moe has been taking rural Saskatchewan healthcare for granted. Unfortunately, that means Saskatchewan families are left paying the price. 

And now the Sask. Party is promising four more years of austerity – meaning cuts to health care across the province.

Saskatchewan can do better.