Meili, Moe spar about children’s hospital at overcapacity

The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is overcapacity, and opposition leader Ryan Meili wants to know what the government’s plan will be.

According to a letter the New Democrats shared to hospital staff, pediatric inpatient is at 108 per cent capacity with four admissions waiting in the emergency, while the pediatric ICU is at 125 per cent capacity at the hospital.

Meil said it’s a “dangerous situation of excess demand,” and recalled minister Paul Merriman’s comments at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association meetings earlier this week.

“At SUMA, (Merriman) he had something to say. He told the officials, get out of your towers, go see what’s really happening on the frontlines. Well, here’s the message to the Premier. You wouldn’t do it last year when the ICU’s were overwhelmed. This weekend, will you and the minister go up to the children’s hospital. Will you see what’s really happening? Will you get out of your towers?”, Meili asked.

Health minister Paul Merriman responded by saying they are committed to the children’s hospital.

“We’ll continue to be committed to that,” he said. “We built the facilities, we’ve brought the people in, we have the equipment to be able to make sure the people and the children will continue to be safe. There aren’t children being transported across the province.  We do have overcapacity.”

Merriman said they have 12 PICU units, but also the capacity to expand to six more. Moe said there are some challenges across the province in health care.

“Can you imagine the challenge for Saskatchewan families that require health care services with 1,000 less physicians practicing in the province, Mr. Speaker?,” Moe said. “Can you imagine the challenges for Saskatchewan families with 4,200 less nurses providing their services across Saskatchewan.

As for the hospital, the letter said that on-service inpatient teams will identify patients from outside of Saskatoon to be moved to another facility, modify management plans to get patients out faster, and restrict admission to urgent cases only.

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