Written by SEIU-West member Colleen Denniss, published in the Star Phoenix on March 9, 2017.
Aren’t you concerned about the move to one big health region and how it will affect the citizens of Saskatchewan? It seems as if we are always fighting to maintain public services in rural Saskatchewan. We often feel that our voices are not heard. We face the same health issues as those who live in cities but we have to travel further in order to access needed services.
How is our government going to ensure that this mega health region will be able to respond to the needs of residents equitably? Taking decision-making abilities away from local Health Regions will further stifle the voices of our rural communities. Centralizing services means that we travel further to receive care when services are offered only in larger communities. This is the experience of many who live in my home town of Rosetown. It truly makes me wonder if this is an effort, once again, to simply quiet the small players while offering them less.
Health care providers question a move in this direction — what we really need in health care is more front line staff to deliver quality care. The administrative cost that will be spent on changing letterhead and re-jigging the management structure of new service models would obviously be better spent on serving the needs of our residents, clients and patients by investing in safe staff levels to provide care. When decisions are made without proper consultation with the people who live in our community, valued public service is destined to fail.