Tag: Sask

Sask. health care: A million hours of overtime clocked by nurses this year, union says

The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses said nurses have clocked more than a million hours of overtime this year as they face a shortage in their profession.

 “We’re so short-staffed like we have over a million hours of overtime so far clocked this year, (which would pay for) 720 full-time equivalents,” SUN president Tracy Zambory told CTV News.

 SEIU-West, the union representing St. Paul hospital workers, is also seeing staffing issues.

 “They don’t have the emotional, physical or mental ability to keep running at this level of crisis,” SEIU-West president Barbara Cape said.

 Zambory said the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s newly announced “action plan” to alleviate overcrowding in Saskatoon hospitals does not address core issues.

 “Unfortunately, we were not given the ability to have any sort of input in this plan,” she said.

 SHA CEO Andrew Will said staff and unions have been included in conversations.

“We’ve had ongoing engagement with staff and with our union partners over the many initiatives that we have implemented,” Will said in a press conference on Tuesday.

 A letter to SHA leaders signed by 118 emergency department staff at St. Paul’s Hospital cited issues of overcrowding, unsafe ratios of nurses to patients and indignity experienced by patients treated in hallways.

“I had the opportunity to be in the emergency department to speak with staff and physicians and we have included some of their ideas in this plan as well,” Will said.

Zambory said out-of-province agency nurses at St. Paul’s hospital are being paid $120 an hour.

“This is no way to run a healthcare system. We’re going to find ourselves bankrupt if we think this is a solution that we’re going to hang our hats on,” she said.

Zambory said the union is

Sask. hospital staff call out overcrowding, unsafe conditions in the emergency department

Nursing staff at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon are calling on Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to act on unsafe conditions in the emergency department.

CTV News obtained a letter to SHA leaders signed by 118 emergency department staff at St. Paul’s addresses overcrowding, unsafe ratios of nurses to patients and the indignity experienced by patients treated in hallways because of the lack of space.

Overcrowding leads to poorer patient outcomes, longer hospital stays and higher mortality rates, the letter says, and physicians have nowhere to properly assess people.

“We have great concerns that someday soon something bad will happen in our waiting room despite our best efforts to work in this broken system.”

With nowhere to treat new patients coming in, staff had to place people in hallway beds, “which are literally just stretchers in front of nursing desks and lined down hallways, with no safety equipment for the patients, call bells or oxygen.”

On Wednesday, the Saskatoon Fire Department said hallway beds were obstructing exit doors in the hospital, in violation of national fire code requirements.

“These deplorable conditions are leading to breaches in confidentiality, lack of dignity, and unsafe care provision due to no space with appropriate monitoring for care required,” the letter says.

“Staff report tremendous moral injury due to the conditions patients are placed in. Pad changes in the hallways while staff try hold sheets around the bed, examinations in the waiting rooms, chest pain patients with no heart monitor to observe their heart, cancer diagnoses given without privacy in the waiting room, sexual assaults with no bed to examine them or provide privacy,” staff wrote.

In an emailed statement, an SHA spokesperson told CTV News that a plan to deal with capacity pressure in Saskatoon’s hospitals

SHA embarking on national tour to promote health-care careers in Sask.

SHA embarking on national tour to promote health-care careers in Sask.

Health Minister Everett Hindley says Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources Action Plan has seen success in the year since it first launched. (Lisa Schick/980 CJME)

As Saskatchewan struggles with an ongoing shortage of health-care workers, two agencies are about to embark on a national tour to promote employment opportunities in the province.

From Sept. 22 through Oct. 6, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the newly established Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency will be sending a delegation to Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

According to a release from the provincial government, the goal of the tour is “to promote employment opportunities, benefits and incentives available in the province.”

The delegation will be meeting with health-care workers, students and post-secondary schools in the five provinces, including two large career fairs and multiple meet-and-greet events in centres including Toronto, Montreal, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Halifax.

The Saskatchewan government said current trends show that young adults, families and new graduates are interested in moving to or returning to the province as they seek out affordable living, opportunities for full-time work and higher pay.

Health Minister Everett Hindley said there has never been a better time to come to Saskatchewan for work in the health-care field.

“As part of our recruitment efforts, we will continue to promote our province as the great place it is, offering a lower cost of living, excellent wages and benefits, plus strong health care teams and wonderful communities to join,” Hindley said in a statement.

Health Human Resources plan hits one-year milestone

September marks the first anniversary of Saskatchewan’s $60-million Health Human Resources Action Plan, the aim of which was to add 1,000 health-care workers to the workforce over the next few years.

Tim McLeod, Saskatchewan’s minister of mental health and addictions, said the plan

Sask. Ministry of Health give timeline of health professional work expansion

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health said it is following through on a previous announcement to expand the range of services that pharmacists, advanced care paramedics, and nurse practitioners can provide patients.

The ministry said changes will come over the next year as it works with stakeholders to amend policies and regulations.

The Saskatchewan government said pharmacists will be able to independently prescribe, as well as order lab tests and conduct point-of-care testing, like drawing a blood sample to help patients manage diabetes or cholesterol.

Nurse practitioners will have extended privileges for admitting and discharging patients in some hospital areas. They’ll also be able to examine long-term care patients and be responsible for medical care, treatment and death certificates of residents.

Advanced care paramedics will be able to perform suturing for lacerations, cuts and minor wounds.

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The province had said on Feb. 2 that it would be looking at making these changes.

Click to play video: 'Sask. to introduce expanded roles for pharmacists, nurse practitioners and paramedics'

Sask. to introduce expanded roles for pharmacists, nurse practitioners and paramedics

“These changes will empower our highly qualified pharmacists, nurse practitioners and paramedics, giving them the opportunity to make greater use of their skills and expertise to further support patient care,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said.

“Enhancing scope of practice will enable Saskatchewan pharmacists in hospitals and communities to serve patients with pharmaceutical care and medication management in a safe and timely manner,” said Amy Wiebe, president of the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals Council.

“These changes will help build primary care capacity, ease health care system pressures, and improve access to care for patients.”

She said there have been steps to broaden the scope of what pharmacists can do over several years, noting that this is an evolving process.

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Wiebe said pharmacists have been reliant on practitioners who could prescribe

Murray Mandryk: Sask. doctors may be exploring once unthinkable moves

Saskatchewan doctors opting to leave is what’s now wrong with our health-care system — why we can’t seem to find a GP or specialist.

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There was an uncomfortableness in the conversation between the patient, his wife and their doctor beyond the usual reasons for uncomfortableness in such settings.

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Sask. man finds new passion in health care after life-changing workplace accident

“I get to be a part of the team that protects some of the most sensitive information that you have, as a person,” says Michael McGill.

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Michael McGill knew he would always have work in the construction industry.

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“There’s always a building to be done, there’s always that type of work be done. It was

Sask. health-care workers want to have a say in how cash infusion from Ottawa should be used

Health-care workers across Saskatchewan want to have their voices heard when the province begins distributing the federal health-care funding announced on Wednesday.

According to the agreement in principle, Saskatchewan will receive a one-time infusion of $61 million and an additional $111 million annually over 10 years in health-care funding. 

Dr. Andries Muller, president of Saskatchewan’s College of Family Doctors, says about one in six Saskatchewan residents currently don’t have a family doctor, which is leading to longer wait times in the province’s emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.

He would like to see a significant portion of the federal funding go toward restructuring the way primary care is delivered in the province.

Muller co-authored an op-ed titled ‘Physician-led, team-based care is the path to better access for patients,’ with Dr. John Gjevre, president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association. 

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Dr. Andries Muller says team-based care is the solution for Saskatchewan’s struggling primary care system. (University of Saskatchewan)

Muller says a team-based care model would allow family doctors to have a team of medical practitioners such as nurses, pharmacists and social workers at their clinics to complete tasks that don’t necessarily require a family doctor’s expertise. 

“Not everything that a patient presents has to be dealt with by a family doctor,” Muller said. ” For example, flushing wax out of the ear: If you have a good office nurse who can do that, that frees up the family doctor to deal with more complex patients.

“Maybe if I see them early enough I can prevent them from having to go to the emergency room.”

Team-based care

 Muller says a transition to a team-based care in clinics would allow family doctors to see more patients.

“We did a rough calculation the other day: If we could have a social worker, a nurse practitioner, pharmacist

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