The Saskatchewan NDP is calling for the provincial government to go back to a community health system that they believe can amplify local voices.
The Community Health Advisory Networks was a system to take in community opinions on healthcare, which were done away with during the amalgamation of health regions around five years ago.
Now, two NDP critics are voicing their displeasure at the current healthcare system and are pointing at the old system as a potential solution.
Rural and Remote Health Critic Matt Love says that they've heard the call to reinstate that during their tour of health systems around the province.
“We’re only two weeks into our Health Solutions Tour and one thing is crystal clear - local leaders feel shut out of healthcare decision-making,” said Love. “The Minister needs to listen to his government’s own report and bring back Community Health Advisory Networks to restore local voices in healthcare.”
He was joined on his trip by Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat, who echoed his sentiments on returning to community voices.
“In every corner of the province, hospitals and health centres are closed and families struggle to find a family doctor,” said Mowat. “It’s clear health region amalgamation and the centralizing of healthcare decisions has failed to deliver reliable, high-quality care for people who need it. Local people and community leaders know what their communities need – it’s time to bring those voices back to the table.”
Love says that such a change will not only help out local people, it'll also help to make sure talented healthcare workers stay local in Saskatchewan.
"Decision-making must have a local perspective at the table. We have some of the most talented health workers in the country right here in Saskatchewan but if we don't listen to them, we're going to keep seeing healthcare workers leaving our province for other locations that are prioritizing the input of healthcare workers."