The Saskatchewan NDP says cutting the Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus system is wreaking havoc on the Ministry of Health.
Using freedom of information legislation the party presented, in the legislature, material and correspondence which occurred between health officials about the closure of the STC.
New Democrat Danielle Chartier says the information shows the government and Health Minister Jim Reiter ignored the vital role the bus company played in health care.
“STC was a vital service for Saskatchewan people who were passengers, for businesses and workers who relied on it for freight,” Chartier said in the Saskatchewan Legislature Wednesday. “But it was also essential to the delivery of vital government programs. Like healthcare.”
The health minister denied the suggestion he didn’t know about the effects before the budget.
“Less than one-percent used the STC to go to medical appointments, Mr Speaker,” Reiter said. “Other arrangements have been made. Courier services are used to make deliveries of necessary items.”
Reiter said it will take a little bit of effort to make sure couriers provide the services the STC did, adding the government intends to ensure people in the province get their medical supplies.
“STC was used for less than a year to deliver blood and blood products,” Reiter said. “Prior to that, private couriers were being used. Private couriers are being used now. We’re going to ensure that services continue to be provided. That’s been the case. That will continue to be the case.”
According to the reports released under the freedom of information, the STC had been used to ship chemotherapy drugs and blood to hospitals across the province.
NDP Danielle Chartier says the products cannot be shipped by couriers as they cannot provide the same timeliness and temperature protection.