Province, Sask Health Authority reacts to concerns of CEO Tour report on long term care facilities

The ministry of health and Saskatchewan Health Authority released the CEO’s Tour report from 2019 on Friday, saying more can always be done to improve long term care in the province.

The provincial NDP have previously raised concerns about low staffing levels, inadequate training and damaged facilities but the province says they will prioritize in-person meetings with families to hear their concerns.

Health minister Jim Reiter said the report allows everything to be seen; the good and the bad.

“This is used by the SHA senior management team to decide what improvements should be made, it helps formulate that decision,” Reiter said. “I think it’s important that we always strive to do better, I think things have been improving, but we can always do better.”

SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said getting the right personnel the right training and having them work in the right place is important to addressing staffing concerns.
“Just like acute care or any other type of primary care, long term care is no different in respect to the challenges we face as a province that’s geographically dispersed is we want to have these facilities as close to folk’s original homes our residents were,” Livingstone said. “That geography creates some challenges with respect to staffing.”
When asked about a potential concern around decreasing infection control, Livingstone said he’s not aware of any reduction in that area.
“One of the reasons we have those controls in place is that we have the ability to lock down facilities in a non-COVID environment, where we have influenza outbreaks as an example, to prevent respiratory and NGI illnesses, which are the two most common types of outbreaks in long term care facilities,” Livingstone said. “I’m not aware of any work that we would be doing to reduce the criteria.”
Overall, the provincial government says this report shows the positive work done in long term health care in recent years, but more will be done.

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