Health Care Provider Week radio ads:
As we pause to recognize Health Care Provider’s Week, I am often asked “What IS a Health Care Provider?” These are the people that provide both basic and advanced care, whether it’s through a clinic, a Doctor’s office, the hospital, a long term care facility or community-based care. They are both seen and unseen; there are thousands of health care providers across Saskatchewan that ensure our system responds when you need it the most.
You see, the people who provide health care are not just the doctors and nurses you see captured on TV or movies…for example, a health care provider is the person who makes sure that the hospital has hot water, heat and light. A health care provider is the person who makes and serves quality nutritious meals to aid in your rest and recovery from injury or illness. A health care provider keeps the facility clean and infection free. And there are health care providers who make sure your patient records and all the paperwork related to your file remains confidential and is updated as needed. All of these, and so many more, make up the health care team that provides the right care at the right time.
It’s important to take the time to recognize the skills, experience and professionalism that all health care providers bring to their work. Not only quality foundational education, but ongoing training that ensures that the people of Saskatchewan are receiving the best quality care available. Whether that’s provided within the system, or through additional training, health care providers are constantly learning the most current skills and putting them into practice for you. What this means is that all members of the health care team should be respected for their valued contribution to patient and resident care.
Generally when we access our health care system, it is never routine and it can be in the midst of a crisis. We don’t stop to think about the intricate details; the planning that goes into ensuring that you have the right person providing the right care at the right time. The Saskatchewan health care system is world renown for innovation, quality and timeliness, and the people who make it possible are health care providers. From the front line staff providing hands-on care, to the hundreds more who work behind the scenes to build the foundation of our health care system, each and every person treats you as a ‘their patient’ – not a customer or a consumer.
It’s difficult to find the core of truth about the quality of our health care system, when we hear so often about cost over-runs, or collective bargaining processes, or health region deficits. The sad fact is that while our health care providers are highly skilled, experienced professionals, there are simply not enough of them. There aren’t enough technologists to do the testing, so we have to wait longer than necessary for our results. There aren’t enough housekeeping and caretaking staff, so our facilities are in obvious need of attention. There simply is not enough staff to meet the demand of a growing province with complex and ever-changing needs.
The answer isn’t to privatize health care services but to reinvest into quality and safe staffing levels. According to sound evidence, privatization would lend to heightened staff shortages in the public system, higher costs, reduced access to service and a loss of public control and accountability. By making sure that we have adequate staff to provide these services we commit to high quality care and we will improve the patient, client or resident experience in community care, long term care and hospitals. However if we do not invest in a better system, we will lose the skill, experience and knowledge that our health care providers bring to other provinces or countries.
SEIU-West members who are employed as health care providers are dedicated to their profession to the sector and to their patients, clients and residents. It is with great pride that I am able to showcase our members – health care providers who are the backbone of health care. Please join SEIU-West in our recognition of the valued professional skills that our members bring to quality health care in Saskatchewan.