NDP says province sending different message than doctors on the current state of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan NDP is once again questioning the government’s COVID-19 response after Saskatchewan doctors say the spread is “out of control”.

During a town hall meeting Thursday night, physicians around the province cited Saskatchewan’s healthcare system is nearing a breaking point.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili says it seems the government is trying to pretend everything’s fine when doctors say it’s not.

“It’s been such a jarring discord between the clear, honest message coming from SHA leadership to doctors, and the downright disinformation campaign from Scott Moe and Paul Merriman when it comes to the fantasy they’re trying to spin about the reality we’re facing today,” said Meili. “I keep waiting for the day when, finally, we’ll see some recognition from the Premier that there’s a different story they’re not telling.”

During the town hall, some doctors said if the province continues on its current trajectory, healthcare workers will have to decide which patients have the best chance of survival.

Provincial Health Minister Paul Merriman says he doesn’t believe that’s the case, adding the province is focusing on helping those that need help the most.

“I understand there are pressures in Regina, and those pressures are real,” said Merriman. “And we appreciate all what those healthcare workers are doing in making sure that we can get the best treatment for any specific patient at that specific time. There are pressures on the healthcare system, absolutely, we’ve been seeing pressures on the healthcare system for a few months now, but we are trying to find that specific balance.”

Merriman says measures currently in place in the province are working, and vaccines continue to be the way out of the pandemic.

Meili says he agrees vaccines are the only long-term solution, but more needs to be done right now, adding the only thing getting in the way of a better COVID-19 response is politics.

He says he doesn’t believe Paul Merriman was the right pick for Health Minister.

“Frankly, I have no idea how this Premier looked at Paul Merriman, saw the job he did that he did in Social Services, where he was known for his incompetence, and his lack of compassion, and said that’s the guy I want to lead us through a pandemic.”

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