REGINA – Saskatchewan Liberal Leader Darrin Lamoureux was in attendance today at the Saskatchewan Legislature as residents from Craik and area rallied to protest reductions to important physician and emergency services in their community.
“These protesters are not only sounding alarm bells for their community, but for all Saskatchewan communities, that the provincial government and regional health boards are increasingly making heavy handed decisions without meaningful consultation with affected communities and residents,” said Darrin Lamoureux, “These are the same health boards that have instructed healthcare providers to refer to their patients instead as ‘customers’. Patients are not ‘customers’, they are taxpayers who entrust our health system to provide us all with equal level of access to healthcare when we need it.”
“Many Saskatchewan communities are growing thanks to our healthy economy. Why, in times of growth, would the government feel the need to reduce local access to healthcare at a time when service levels should be remaining stable or in some case be increasing?” asked Lamoureux, “While general revenues have increased nearly 80% since taking power, the Wall government has squandered much of it, leaving rural communities stuck paying the price for the Wall government’s misspending.”
Lamoureux recently met with members of the community and toured their healthcare facility. Residents spoke of the fear that losing their full-time doctor would only be the first step towards closure of their facility. These individuals have not forgotten how the NDP administration chose to close 52 rural healthcare facilities in 1999, and they fear the same could soon happen to their facility under the Sask Party.
NDP Leader Cam Broten asked last week where all the extra money from general revenue has gone. “If Mr. Broten and his colleagues had been doing their job as the official opposition these last seven years to hold the Wall government accountable, he wouldn’t have needed to ask that question,” added Lamoureux, “Sufficient provincial revenue is available to maintain a proper level of healthcare for all Saskatchewan citizens, both rural and urban. Now is the time to tell the Wall government to stop looking for answers to our healthcare woes from outside and start consulting with local representatives and residents to come up with Saskatchewan-made solutions.”