REGINA – Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall said he will shorten wait times by providing more health care funding and more private pay healthcare.
To reduce wait times for CT scans, the Sask. Party plans to allow patients to pay privately for the service.
The private-pay model recently came into force for MRI scans in the province, where a clinic has to provide a free scan to someone on the public list after doing a private scan.
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“Once upon a time Mr. Wall said no one who is paying would be able to jump the line and get faster care. Well that is exactly what is happening here. It’s the wrong direction,” NDP leader Cam Broten argued in Saskatoon.
“I think people have moved past ideology. A majority of people want more timely care,” said Wall.
According to the Sask Party the average wait for a non-emergency MRI is 26.5 days.
Wall also promised more money for front line needs in long-term care facilities. The party plans on cutting $7.5 million from administrative costs and reinvesting it in long-term care.
“We have opened 15 new long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan since we were first elected, but there is more to be done to ensure seniors receive the care they deserve,” Wall said in a statement.
This money will come from administrative cuts to health regions across the province. Weyburn-Big Muddy Sask Party candidate and Health Minister Dustin Duncan said they have targets in mind, but will work with the regions.
These cuts mean administrative positions will be cut.
“We’re going to sit down with the regions and look at this carefully, in a way that’s respectful as possible of positions that are out there and find out what can be achieved through attrition so there’s not a lot of quote, unquote layoffs. We’re not talking about that,” Wall said.
The Sask Party is also promising funding boosts to other areas.
The increased funding includes an additional $500,000 per year to expand a remote presence technology pilot project in Pelican Narrows, Sask. to other communities. The project uses telemedicine to connect doctors with patients.
The party also plans to give $500,000 annually to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to incorporate vision loss rehabilitation into the health system.
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According to Wall, the provincial government under the Sask. Party would also extend palliative care leave from eight weeks to 26 weeks and reduce administrative positions and costs in Regional Health Authorities by $7.5 million.