Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says she has spoken with her Saskatchewan counterpart about federal support.
“I really stressed to Minister Merriman the best plan is the one we make ahead of time, and we need to work together to make sure we can adequately understand what Saskatchewan needs might be,” Hajdu told the Canadian Press on Monday.”
She added if the province is going to need nurses, respiratory therapists or doctors, the federal government needs to know sooner rather than later.
Merriman has written a letter to Hajdu. In that letter, he says the government is appreciative of the federal government’s role to date in procuring and delivering rapid tests and that they are asking for expedited approval for rapid tests deemed off-label.
He also thanks Hajdu for the offer, but says at this time the province has expanded the capacity in our acute and intensive care units in order to address the pressures being experienced and that the province will continue using the federal resources already in place to complement those efforts.
Merriman also tells Hajdu he appreciates the willingness to share ideas with the federal government regarding increasing vaccine uptake in Indigenous communities, specifically through the use of Rangers and Indigenous community members to provide mobile clinics in remote First Nations communities, as well as providing funding to directly to promote vaccines.
Merriman’s letter comes on a day when a record 289 people are in hospital with a record 63 in the ICU.