Tue. May 17th, 2022

The president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses says it appears the Saskatchewan Health Authority no longer has decision-making power over how its workforce is to be used after Prime Minister Scott Moe announced that the province’s COVID-19 response is centralized through the regional emergency Operations Center.

“And are we still going to operate as we should with evidence and medical expertise?” SUN President Tracy Zambory said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Scott Moe announced his plans to centralize the province’s COVID-19 response through the Provincial Emergency Operations Center, an organization that aims to streamline the government’s response between ministries during what he called the “significant health challenge” presented by the pandemic.

The Center is jointly managed by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the Department of Health.

Saskatchewan’s health system has been under significant strain during the fourth wave. Over the past month, the province has slowed down many hospital services in an effort to free up resources to create more ICU beds.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Moe announced the centralization of the province’s COVID-19 response through the Provincial Emergency Operations Center. (CBC)

Moe said the new structure will free up management and administrative resources that can be used to directly treat patients, and aims to address the challenge of “ensuring we have the right people, the right equipment and resources on it. in the right place at the right time. “

But Zambory questioned whether the management of the public security agency has the expertise to handle the pandemic.

“We know that the province’s command has been used for various disasters that have occurred in the province, [but] these are disasters that have either been weather-based or caused by fire, “she said.

“So we wonder what it is like that we can now suddenly switch to the worst pandemic that has ever happened involving humans.”

Staff are at the breaking point and patients are already not receiving the treatment they need, Zambory said.

She said she has heard that patients who should be in intensive care units are instead admitted to medicine wards because ICUs are full.

“So they are admitted to the medicine department without the ability to have that intensive care unit imposed with all the things that an intensive care unit has, especially machines and a very highly trained workforce.”

Tighter health order required: SUN President

Instead of trying to rearrange scarce staff, Zambory said more restrictions would help alleviate the crisis.

“We are creating more and more dangerous situations because there seems to be this refusal to put on tighter public health orders so we can try to stem the flow of COVID that is ravaging our health system,” she said.

Saskatchewan Union of Nurses president Tracy Zambory says more restrictions will help relieve stress on the health care system. (CBC)

Big gatherings over the Thanksgiving weekend will make things worse, she said.

“We are at the worst point of the pandemic since March 2020. Yet we have no rules that will guide us.”

Zambory also took issue with a public press release describing health professionals as part of the ongoing “inventory management”.

“When we are described as furniture, care becomes the estate, and where is humanity in it?”

She said there are a limited number of health workers no matter where you place them.

“We are just shuffling these scarce resources around without further action to slow down the spread of society,” Zambory said.

Officials said Thursday that it was too early to know how many additional health workers would be released from the move.

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