Handling of the 4th wave of the pandemic debated during Question Period

A debate about the handling of the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan was the main topic of discussion during Wednesday’s Question Period.

The provincial opposition said the Saskatchewan government’s failure to listen to medical health experts has cost the province significantly.

Health Minister Paul Merriman countered that they have been listening to the experts which is why they introduced measures like the vaccine passport back in September.

Merriman says the actions that the Saskatchewan government took have been successful. “Our numbers are down, our vaccination rates are up. I don’t know why the opposition is so disappointed that the action we took in September is working.” The Health Minister added the measures the government issued in September came from the recommendations from Dr. Shahab.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said that the Saskatchewan government took the summer off before taking any action and added that Saskatchewan wouldn’t have needed to suspend health care operations in September if they were proactive instead of being reactive.

The provincial opposition presented an example of the shut down of health care services during Question Period as they highlighted 22 year old Jessica Eide. The 22 year old has had 4 surgeries cancelled and is now at risk of losing her leg due to the postponed services.

According to Meili, Eide is another Saskatchewan resident who felt the effects of Premier Moe choosing his own politics instead of the people of Saskatchewan. “Does the Premier think that it’s fair she was to wait with such uncertainty with the risk of losing her leg if she doesn’t get that surgery, does he think that’s fair that she has to wait just because he put his politics ahead of her health.”

Health Minister Paul Merriman said the redeployment of healthcare staff needed to be done because of the overcrowded ICU’s in Saskatchewan.

He added with case numbers decreasing the plan continues to have 90% of redeployed healthcare staff return to their original positions by the end of the month which allow the resumption of services that have been on pause since September.

The Saskatchewan government reaffirmed their stance that the vaccine should be an individual choice and not a mandated one. Premier Scott Moe said that they did receive a letter of recommendations from a group of medical health officers in the province, one recommendation that Moe says the government didn’t follow was the requirement that students or their family members shouldn’t be forced into getting vaccine in order to attend in person classes. The Premier said that is something the Sask. government will continue disagree with the provincial opposition.

Meili responded saying the Premier along with the Minister of Health and Minister of Education are performing a disservice by encouraging a hesitancy towards the vaccine

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