The provincial NDP claims overcapacity in Saskatchewan hospitals continues to be problematic, but the health minister says programs put in place are reducing potential visits.
Health critic Danielle Chartier says the overcapacity problem in Regina and Saskatoon is having an effect on rural hospitals and means people aren’t getting the attention they deserve with some having to be treated in hallways.
Chartier says this has been a long standing issue, but the government seems unwilling to address the situation.
Health minister Dustin Duncan says the opposition is aware of programs currently in place designed at reducing hospital visits, and says they should acknowledge that.
Duncan says one of those programs sees a mental health professional paired with a police officer, and that in Saskatoon, 238 contacts were made in the first six months which resulted in less than half needing a hospital visit.
He is of the realization that emergency rooms are very busy places, but adds nearly half of the people who showed at E-R’s last year were not urgent cases.