Tag Archives: hospital

Town Hall Meetings: Pharmacy Technicians

SEIU-West members in the Pharmacy Technologist classifications are invited to attend the following town hall meetings:

April 28, 2015: Saskatoon

  • City Hospital – Cafeteria side room at 7:00 pm

April 29, 2015: Swift Current

  • Union Office – Board Room at 5:00 pm

April 30, 2015: Moose Jaw 

  • Union Hospital – Cafeteria at 4:15 pm

Union Board Posters:

Pharmacy Tech Town Hall: Saskatoon

Pharmacy Tech Town Hall: Swift Current

Pharmacy Tech Town Hall: Moose Jaw

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2011 Health Care Providers Week Proclaimed

It’s that time of year again. The week of October 23 to 30th has been proclaimed as Health Care providers week in the province of Saskatchewan.

You can read the letter SEIU-West received from the minister of health and the official certificate in this post.

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Health Care workers optimistic about NDP platform

Saskatoon – Members of Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) were present as Dwain Lingenfelter and Judy Junor announced the Sask NDP health care platform this morning outside of Primary Health Centre South East in the riding of Saskatoon Eastview.

Highlights of the plan include a focus on community-centered care, additional funding to strengthen emergency room staffing and equipment as well as an investment in physician recruitment.

“We are relieved to see that the NDP platform contains a plan to manage the gaps in rural health care,” said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “We see this as a plan that is not only practical, but sustainable.”

The NDP is proposing a Community Access Hospital model that would see an increased role for Nurse Practitioners and a pool of Doctors who would be available to assist as needed. This would allow the existing rural hospitals which have been shut down or have seen disruptions of services to be repurposed with a more diverse health care team and better services.

“This would definitely keep our communities healthy in more ways than one,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “It’s no secret that we support publicly administered, delivered and funded health care, and this plan delivers all of that. In recent years, very little has been done to address critical retention and recruitment issues in too many classifications. It is our hope that this platform will involve a broader perspective of the health care team. Our current provincial government has diverted funding in support of private sector options. This will inevitably increase the cost given the need to protect a profit margin. In the case of Regina health region, data indicates that fewer public sector surgeries have been performed as a result of the work being done in a private surgery center. A better alternative would be to invest in smaller centres across the province to ensure ready access to diagnostic and surgical services as spelled out in the NDP Platform.”

The platform would reinstate chiropractic care coverage, increase funding for midwifery services, speech and occupational therapists, and address programming and equipment for childhood disabilities.

“Rest assured that we will be holding their feet to the fire when it comes to these promises. It’s up to us as the voters and working people of this province that our next provincial government has our best interests at heart when they are making their decisions,” said Banks.

SEIU-West supports the model of ensured access to high quality public sector health care services across the province in both rural and urban centres.

SEIU-West represents over 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan. As well, SEIU-West represents employees working in the following sectors: Education, Municipal, Community-Based Organizations and Allied.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250.

Download the PDF of this release: Media Release 20111012 health care platform final

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Wakaw & Community Takes Their Concerns to the Health Minister

Regina – A group known as the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw joined with SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union) members today and travelled to Regina to tell the Minister of Health that the Wakaw Hospital needs to be re-opened. The Wakaw Hospital has been closed since the end of March due to a physician shortage and area residents are concerned that a lengthy closure will result in more health professionals leaving the area.

Concerned Citizens of Wakaw outside the Legislature“Our community places a high value on keeping our hospital open,” said Paul Danis, a member of the Concerned Citizens group. “Given that the Minister of Health chose not to attend either of our large community meetings to discuss potential solutions, despite being invited, we decided to bring our message directly to him here at the Legislature. We are worried about the implications of this ongoing closure, especially if existing Wakaw Hospital employees are issued layoff notices which would serve as yet another obstacle to re-opening our hospital. We need the provincial government to demonstrate some leadership on this file.”

Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West, agreed that an indefinite closure could force many hospital employees to leave the Wakaw area to find alternate work and joined the Concerned Citizens group in calling for the Minister of Health to take immediate action. SEIU-West, has been working with our members and the community group in an effort to put forward alternate strategies to the Saskatoon Health Region.

Group Shot of Road Trip members from Wakaw and surrounding area “The Wakaw Hospital is important to area residents and SEIU-West is committed to working with the community to re-open that hospital to ensure provision of important health care services in that region,” Cape said. “While the community has held public meetings and we have taken the ideas from those meetings forward in our discussions with the Saskatoon Health Region, it’s clear that we will need leadership from the Sask Party government in order to re-open the Wakaw Hospital. The longer the hospital remains closed, the more challenging it will be to re-open it. Community members and health care providers deserve better and that’s why we’ve come to the Legislature today.”

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

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 CONTACT:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

For a PDF version of this release, click on the following link:

Media Release: Wakaw & Community Takes Their Concerns to the Health Minister

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Media Advisory – Road Trip to Legislature

Members of SEIU-West will join community groups and Wakaw residents on a road trip to the legislature as they further their combined efforts to save the Wakaw hospital.

The group intends to share their concerns with the Health Minister. Wakaw is yet another rural hospital to be targeted for closure due to a shortage of doctors. This will affect a number of communities in the area and force people to travel longer distances to receive emergency care when time is of the essence.

SEIU-West represents approximately 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan.

Who:

Wakaw & Area Community Members together with SEIU-West Members, Representatives and Leadership

Date:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time:

9:00 a.m. Bus Departs Wakaw Rec Centre;
9:45 a.m. Bus Departs Safeway Parking Lot (Circle & 8th)

Location:

Arrives at the Legislature 12:45 p.m.

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CONTACT:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West (306) 370-4990

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Important Community Input Received at Town Hall Meeting in Wakaw

Important Community Input Received at Town Hall Meeting in Wakaw

Wakaw – A community meeting was set up for April 27, 2011 at 7pm by the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union). Invitations were extended to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR), as well as, the Minister of Health and others. Late in the day on April 26, the Health Region advised that they would not be in attendance. The Minister of Health did not attend nor did he send a representative from the Ministry to the meeting. Representatives from the Municipality and the Town of Wakaw were present.

Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West reports, “Of course it would have been ideal to have both the Ministry and the Health Region in the room for this meeting. However, the SHR has now asked that we participate in a Working Group made up of staff, community and union representatives so that these groups are brought together at one table to determine the needs of the residents and health care services that ought to be offered. We see the proposed Working Group as a positive development and hope their intent is in earnest. How effective the dialogue about the future of health care services in Wakaw will remain to be seen.”

Cape added, “This meeting and the Working Group should be seen as opportunities to be inclusive and work towards a common goal of meeting the medical and broader health care service needs within the community of Wakaw. We received important input at tonight’s meeting and thereafter will share that info with SHR. We will continue to work with this community to achieve a fair voice for them and for the workers in their fight to address their health service needs. Our experience with the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and their responsive representatives has been through much hard work and collaboration to look for solutions together. It is too bad that the Ministry of Health is unwilling to participate.”

SEIU-West leaders and members have been making inquiries regarding the future status of health care services in Wakaw, and many of these remain unanswered. Layoff notices to health care providers within the community are pending. Many may be forced to leave their homes in this community to find alternate work. SEIU-West, has been working with members and the community and would like to offer suggestions to the Saskatoon Health Region for alternate strategies.

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

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Town Hall Meeting Seeks Input to Improve Health Care Services in Wakaw and Surrounding Area

A Town Hall meeting organized by the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and SEIU-West will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, to discuss the future of health care services in the Wakaw area.

Invitations have been extended to the Saskatoon Health Region, Minister of Health Don McMorris, local SaskParty MLA Delbert Kirsch, Municipal leaders and others.

“Of course it would be ideal to have all interested parties in the room for this meeting, as we remain hopeful that the group can formulate a plan to ensure effective health care for the citizens of Wakaw and area,” said SEIU-West President Barbara Cape.

Who: Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and Surrounding Area SEIU-West Members, Representatives and Leaders

Date: Wednesday April 27, 2011

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Wakaw Recreation Centre

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SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.

CONTACT:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator SEIU-West – 306.370.4990

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Technological Changes at Wakaw Hospital

Wakaw – SEIU-West has now served notice to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) that due to the technological changes introduced by the employer in the closure of Wakaw Hospital, negotiations must commence in order to create a workplace adjustment plan for the health providers.

“The actual work that our members do is going to be altered significantly by the reduced service levels in the closure of Wakaw Hospital,” said Randy Hoffman, SEIU-West Union Representative. “While we remain concerned about the accessibility of hospital services within this community, we also want our members to be able to continue to work and live in a way that benefits themselves and the community as a whole. It is not a secret that when people lose jobs, and there are no alternate employment opportunities within their community, they either have to move or lengthen their commute. In addition, there is an obligation on the parties to truly discuss and determine significant and meaningful means of expanding the limited services initially promoted by the Health Region.”

“Our members are facing some very hard times if we don’t get a plan in place now,” says Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We want to be proactive; and we want to influence the design of the workplace so that when doctors are finally recruited to the Wakaw Hospital – there are no barriers to reopening the facility. It goes without saying that it is our desire to see the best quality public healthcare provided to the people of the Wakaw and surrounding area.”

No dates have been agreed to as of yet but the Union is hopeful that the employer will see fit to arrange these meetings in a timely manner.

 SEIU-West represents over 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan. As well, SEIU-West represents employees working in the following sectors: Education, Municipal, Community Based Organizations and Allied. For more information on SEIU-West visit: www.seiuwest.ca.

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CONTACT

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator SEIU-West – 306.370.4990 | christine.miller@seiu333.org

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SaskParty Government Gives Up on Rural Saskatchewan Health Care

Wakaw – Today, members of SEIU-West, community groups and residents of Wakaw and area received shocking news from the Health Region. Wakaw hospital will be closed as of April 1, 2011.

“Clearly, the government has failed the people of Wakaw and area,” said Janice Platzke, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU-West. “This hospital provides vital services to a wide-variety of people in a large rural area, not only on a day to day basis but also during recreational seasons when the population swells. This is a dark day for Wakaw and area residents.”

“The government touted its new physician recruitment team but all we have seen is empty promises. So far, it’s been a lot of talk but very little action. Taxpayers in Wakaw and across the province expect their government to deliver results, and most importantly to deliver health services.”

The government has indicated the Wakaw facility will be re-opening as a Health Centre on April 4, 2011 with severely reduced services.

“At the Wakaw community meeting in January, residents were clear that they wanted to keep their hospital open and fully functional,” said Platzke. “If the government isn’t listening to the taxpayers who elect them, then who are they listening to?”

“Of course I’m completely devastated,” says Laurel Gaudet who has worked as a Combined Laboratory X-Ray Technologist at Wakaw Hospital for the last year and a half. “I came to work in Wakaw because I was traveling too far for my previous job. Now my family and I will need to reconsider our dream of living, raising a family and working in a rural community.”

“Is this the ‘New Saskatchewan’ that the SaskParty government talks about? Do they intend their new Saskatchewan to pit urban centers against rural centers, with different levels of health care services and different opportunities for those who want to work in health care?” asked Platzke.

“This drastic reduction in services in Wakaw will put undue pressure on other health facilities who are already not funded sufficiently to deal with their existing volumes. Is this another strategy by the SaskParty government to drive the system toward private, for-profit clinics?” Platzke added.

SEIU-West represents approximately 11,000 health care providers working in four (4) health regions across Saskatchewan, working with communities to maintain and improve health care services across the province.

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CONTACT:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator SEIU-West – 306.370.4990 | christine.miller@seiu333.org

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OP-Ed: Properly fund Public Health Care

By Barbara Cape, The StarPhoenix

This appeared in the Star Phoenix on February 3, 2011.

Having access to comprehensive health-care service is important to every resident of Saskatchewan.

Unfortunately, our current government is seemingly placing more emphasis on privately delivered and privately funded health care and is, in effect, working toward the removal of the public option for the people of Saskatchewan.

The evidence is everywhere.

Rural communities are being forced to raise money out of their own pockets to entice general practitioners and maintain their hospitals. To attract doctors, communities with more assets are outbidding those that can’t afford the extra.

Why should residents of rural Saskatchewan be required to pay twice for health care -once through their taxes and again through fundraising or a health-care levy by their municipality?

If the public system were properly funded, this wouldn’t be an issue.

While the community and rural municipalities are busy looking for a doctor and raising money to get a doctor, the government is wasting taxpayers’ dollars to the tune of $200,000 worth of office furniture for the Provincial Physician Recruitment agency.

This even though it has perfectly good furniture up for sale on a government website. Wouldn’t that money be better invested in the salary for one doctor in a community that desperately needs a physician to maintain its hospital?

Health Minister Don McMorris fails to recognize the concerns of the citizens in those communities and organizations that are working diligently to retain their public health care.

Residents of Wakaw and surrounding areas invited McMorris to their community meeting on Jan. 25, but he did not even show up to hear their concerns.

On behalf of SEIU-West members employed at Wakaw Hospital, I wrote in December to the minister about this very important subject and requested his urgent attention. I have yet to receive a reply.

The government is busy selling the concept of private surgical teams rather than improving surgery wait times by building public capacity.

The government is ignoring the people of Saskatchewan and is creating a two-tier health system -one for rural communities and quite another for urban communities.

The message the government is sending out is this: If you live in a rural community, be prepared to pay extra to have your public health care delivered. If you refuse to pay, you will get Band-Aids instead of doctors. Yet if you live in an urban area, you don’t have to worry and you don’t have to pay more to get access to your doctors.

However, the government pays more for every test and surgical procedure provided by a private, forprofit facility.

I am by no means advocating for urbanites to pay more taxes. On the contrary, I’m calling on the government to protect the birthplace of medicare by investing in our publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly administered health-care system and do better by the people it was elected to serve.

The people of Saskatchewan are the real strategic resource -not just potash!

Rural hospitals need beds, not Band-Aids. Let’s try to fund them adequately so that they have the resources to remain open.

Read the published version.

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