Healthcare in the provincial elections

By in Sports & Health

With election day fast-approaching, parties are putting out their promises for all sectors. Here is a timeline of what each party has proposed in terms of healthcare and mental health.

Saskatchewan Party

Oct. 8 – Affordability for seniors

While campaigning in Regina, Premier Scott Moe announced that he would decrease ambulance service costs for seniors by over 50 per cent in addition to increasing the maximum Seniors Income benefit to $360 and hiring 300 new care aides. 

Oct. 7 – Surgical wait times

Moe said in Regina that the rising surgical wait times in the country are a problem. His goal is to address surgical capacity.

He also promised to expand the provincial insulin pump program to include Type 1 diabetes, which benefits 400 people in the province. The party will also cover the cost for glucose monitoring systems for children under 18. Both programs have an incremental cost of around $4.6 million a year.

Saskatchewan New Democratic Party

Oct. 5 – $100 million-investment in more healthcare professionals

To address long wait times and undermined health care, the Sask. NDP has said they will have a plan to promote staffing in primary, acute and long term healthcare areas. The plan will invest to hire 100 doctors, 150 registered nurses, 300 licensed practical nurses and 500 continuing care assistants.

Sept. 25 – Five-point health plan to sustain rural health

The Sask. NDP’s plan to sustain rural health includes reopening rural emergency rooms and committing to keeping existing rural acute care centres open. It also includes investing in infrastructure to address crumbling rural facilities, investing an additional $10 million to address staffing and recruitment challenges, engaging with community leaders to improve rural health, and a training program to “recruit and retain young people from rural Saskatchewan in healthcare careers.”

Sept. 16 – Dismantling the privatization of healthcare

The Sask. NDP’s plan to address the province’s “two-tiered” healthcare system is based on B.C.’s Medicare Protection Act, to prevent American-style  patient pay services. 

Saskatchewan Green Party

Oct. 13 – Platform release including expanding public health care to include pharmacare

The Sask. Green Party is committed to establishing a Crown corporation to bulk purchase and dispense prescription drugs. This is to address the issue of “one in three Canadians forced to pay for prescription medication.”

For dental care, the party promises to include basic dental care in national coverage and extend dental care to low-income children.

In addition to support for community-based substance-abuse prevention and rehabilitation programs, the party plans on regulating the distribution of prescribed pharmaceuticals to track and prevent over-medication, as well as developing healthcare guidelines prioritizing active and healthy lifestyles.

Sept. 28 – Full health benefits

If they form government, the party promised full health benefits to residents. Leader Naomi Hunter plans to include dental, optical and mental health coverage, and complementary and alternative healing practices in the provincial healthcare coverage.

Fiza Baloch | Staff Writer

Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk