Continuing Care

In 2011 the Government of Saskatchewan removed regulations requiring a minimum standard of care for seniors. Since then, concerns about understaffing and workload in continuing care in Saskatchewan have grown.

These issues have a detrimental impact on the quality of care for residents. Many families have come forward to share stories about the unacceptable conditions their relatives face, such as unanswered calls for help, infrequent bathing, and a rise in physical violence amongst residents. Many workers have similar stories about the stress of working short staffed and their desire to do more for patients.

The Government of Saskatchewan needs to take action today to ensure our seniors have access to the care they need.

What needs to change:

The government needs to:

  • Establish provincially-legislated quality of care standards for residential continuing care facilities, including minimum staffing levels.
  • Increase staffing levels of direct care and support staff in residential continuing care facilities.
  • Provide safe and healthy work environments that support high quality care.

(Regina) Yesterday, the provincial government released the reports from the 2016 Regional Health Authorities CEO Long-Term Care Facility Tour. The CEOs of each regional health authority reported serious issues facing residents in long-term care, such as infrequent baths, sub-par food options, and desire for enhanced recreational opportunities. In response, the three health care provider unions, SGEU, CUPE and SEIU-West, are calling on the provincial government to properly invest in front line staff.

“We all know that we need more staff in long-term care,” said Bonnie Erickson, SGEU’s Health Sector Vice-President. “The question is, what is this government going to do to ensure that every senior in our province has access to the quality of care they deserve? Any additional cuts or layoffs in health care in this province will put even more stress on already over-taxed workers.”

Front line care providers in Saskatchewan are facing uncertainty from proposed budget cuts, privatization, and the looming merging of all of the province’s health regions. Now the growing provincial deficit calls into question whether the government will put needed resources into the system.

“Understaffing and workload are critical issues in continuing care in Saskatchewan,” said Gordon Campbell, President of CUPE Health Care Council “With more staff time, workers can be more attentive and provide better care to their residents. All of our members care deeply about the residents, and provide a high level of care – we need the government to adequately fund seniors’ care.”

Since 2011, when the Government of Saskatchewan removed regulations requiring a minimum standard of care for seniors, concerns about understaffing and workload in continuing care in Saskatchewan have grown.

“Skilled professionals in our health care system have faced increased workloads and decreased staffing levels, all in the name of cost savings,” said Barb Cape, president of SEIU-West. It is far past time for our government to reinstate mandatory minimum care standards in LTC to prevent more tragedies from happening. In addition, it is imperative that this government invests in health care. Our province deserves world class health care for seniors and all residents – not service cuts and wage rollbacks.”

pdfDownload: Long-term care report shows need for more front line staff, say health care providersfront line staff, say health care providers

For more information:

SGEU – Chelsea Flook, Communications Officer 306-527-3117
CUPE – Tria Donaldson, Communications Representative 306-531-6247
SEIU-West – Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator 306-652-1011 x 8733