MEDIA RELEASE: One Health Region to Rule Them All

For Immediate Release – January 5, 2017

Saskatoon – Yesterday the senior leadership of SEIU-West was invited to attend a debrief with the four other health care provider unions on the Minister of Health’s announcement to move to one health region for the province of Saskatchewan.

“Our members are disappointed with the direction being taken by the Advisory Panel and our government,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We are of the view that this move has the potential to negatively impact both patient care and the provision of health care services. Labour relations issues have been minimized, at best, or at worst, simply ignored.”

SEIU-West was an active participant in providing submissions to the Advisory Panel.

“We have shared our misgivings about the negative effects of this project to health care provision in the province,” continued Cape. “During our debrief, we learned that the projected cost savings was not even measured by our government. They intend to collapse 12 health regions into one as a cure. The government ignored the potential cost savings that could be envisioned by transforming bureaucracies such as E-Health, 3sHealth and SAHO. Surely we have the capacity to figure out a better job of transformational change and cost containment.”

This government announcement came with few details to assure the general public of continued access to quality health services across the province and in all communities. In response to concerns about the loss of engagement with local communities, the plan is the government will think about it, later. SEIU-West is understandably concerned about the vagueness of the responses offered to legitimate questions asked by us.

“Our members in the health sector, who provide front line hands on care, will continue to face uncertainty,” added Cape. “Between job cuts, privatization of services and the threat of wage rollbacks, how can we ensure that we will retain or attract health care providers to deliver our health care services in such an unstable system?”

“We will be reviewing the Transformational Change Advisory Panel’s report and directing questions and concerns to the Ministry of Health in order to gain clarity,” Cape said. “We have inquired about having meaningful input on any pending legislation, regulations or processes governing this transformational change process and will continue to promote our members’ professionalism and expertise in leading these changes.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 8733

Media Release: One Health Region to Rule Them All

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