On May 25, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Saskatoon, making a multi-million dollar commitment to long-term care in the province.
However, Saskatchewan’s provincial opposition is saying the money is not going where its needed most: on the front lines to help better support residents and staff.
“We’ve lost over 200 seniors in long-term care to the pandemic,” said Ryan Meilli, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Leader.
“It was like a mirror was put up to our long-term care system and it was shown to be failing.”
Meili stood alongside seniors critic Matt Love near a long-term care facility in Saskatoon on Monday, calling on the Saskatchewan government to use the money for future improvements to the front lines of long-term care.
For health policy consultant Dr. Dennis Kendel, the solution is to look beyond just long-term care and look more closely at the are of seniors overall.
“There are countries, particularly Scandinavian countries who do an infinitely better job supporting people living in their home for much longer than we do,” said Dennis Kendel.
“I don’t think we should just narrowly hone in on long-term care facilities as we understand that concept. We ought to be looking at we can optimally support seniors to live as independently as possible, as long as possible.”
In a statement, the Saskatchewan government said they are honoring the terms of the funding agreement laid out by the federal government. This includes partially off-setting investments made over the last two years in infection prevention and control measures in long-term care.
They added investments will continue to be made.
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