Officials respond to long-term care report

Provincial officials responded Monday to the release of a report on long-term care facilities on Friday.

Health Minister Jim Reiter, Rural and Remote Health Minister Warren Kaeding, and Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone spoke on the CEO’s tours of long-term care facilities report for 2019. The report is a result of Livingstone’s tour on long term care homes in 2019.

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Livingstone said the CEO tours,“ highlight some of the work that still needs to be done to ensure that our long term residents across the province are getting the very best care, but they also identify “areas for improvement on an ongoing basis.”

He noted there was a “consistency around the province” to the challenges faced there, with an aging population and challenges with respect to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Reiter said with the report “you see everything, you see the pros and cons, plusses and minuses.”

So far Saskatchewan has escaped the sorts of issues seen at long-term care homes in other provinces, which have seen major COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths at those facilities;

Still, Livingstone said “it doesn’t mean that there’s not an opportunity for us to improve.” He credited the actions of their staff and the cohorting, and added “if we were seeing fundamental structure flaws we would see similar results in other jurisdictions that are struggling more.”

Minister Reiter also responded to the NDP opposition’s call for “minimum care standards.” He responded in a similar fashion to Premier Scott Moe the week before, by pointed to the first page of program guidelines for special care homes, which stated that “the standards set within this manual are considered minimum standards that must be adhered to at publicly funded facilities that offer long-term care for residents of the province of Saskatchewan.

“There are standards and guidelines that need to be met and we need to be doing the best that we possibly can,” said Reiter.

“I think it’s important that we always strive to do better. I think things have been improving, but we can always do better, and it’s important to hear from the people that are most directly affected.”

Reiter also responded to the NDP opposition’s call for “minimum care standards.” He responded in a similar fashion to Premier Scott Moe the week before, by pointed to the first sentence of the regulations, which stated  “the standards set within this manual are considered minimum standards that must be adhered to at publicly funded facilities that offer long-term care for residents of the province of Saskatchewan.

“There are standards and guidelines that need to be met and we need to be doing the best that we possibly can,” said Reiter.

 

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