SEIU-West members and leaders were surprised with our Minister of Health's public statements reported by CTV, on November 7, 2018, in a news story regarding a 40% funding increase to Long-Term Care (LTC) - we mailed him a letter with our many questions arising out of this statement:
November 29, 2018
Honorable Jim Reiter, Minister of Health, Room 204 - Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan
Dear Minister Reiter:
RE: Increase in Long Term Care Funding
SEIU-West members and leaders were surprised with your public statements reported by CTV, on November 7, 2018, in a news story. You were reported as having confirmed that funding for Long-Term Care (LTC) has increased by over 40% under your watch. Our front-line members have not reported any relief to staffing shortages, particularly with respect to hands-on care providers, which may have come as a result of this increase in funding. Our follow-up efforts to obtain verification of this increase via communication with staff at your office, has not met with any reply to date.
In view of your announcement, we are inquiring when this additional funding was provided to the health care budget. We have been unable to ascertain the same in our review of the provincial government’s budget documents. Was this targeted funding directed towards capital funding or operational funding? Does the Ministry of Health have any accountability targets outlined with this additional funding? Is this funding temporary or permanent in nature? Our members have not experienced a funding increase in the provision of added staff to improve quality of care on the front line. On their behalf, we would like to know why funding increases of this nature have not been used to invest in safe staffing levels for front line caregivers.
Thank you for providing the requested information. SEIU-West members and leaders remain particularly interested in having a fulsome discussion about the need for improved staffing levels in the LTC sector, given the increased workload issues and complex resident needs facing our members on a daily basis.
President of SEIU-West
cc: Minister of Rural and Remote Health, Greg Ottenbreit
Scott Livingstone, CEO – Saskatchewan Health Authority
SEIU-West Executive Board