Sask. NDP raising concerns over long-term care in the province

The provincial NDP says the government is not providing enough resources to long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan.

NDP says province trying to move high-need residents from public care to private without consultation

Eight residents will be relocated from the Grenfell and District Pioneer Home due to safety concerns about one of its wings. (Adam Hunter/CBC )

The Saskatchewan NDP is voicing concern about long-term care in the province. 

During the summer, residents from two long-term care homes were relocated due to mould and other maintenance issues. 

The NDP says these issues stem from a lack of funding from the province for long-term care facilities, residents and staff.

"This is a government who has refused to acknowledge that there is a crisis in staffing in long-term care," said Danielle Chartier, the NDP's critic for seniors.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili also referenced proposals from the province to move high-need seniors, also know as level three or four residents, from public long-term care homes into private care homes.

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili and NDP seniors critic Danielle Chartier spoke to reporters in Saskatoon on Thursday. (CBC News)

"We have a government that's put out tenders to change the practice in a very significant way," he said.

In an emailed statement, Health Minister Jim Reiter said the the request for expression of interest is "an information-gathering exercise" and not a tender.

"The REOIs were issued to see whether any existing service providers might be interested in exploring options for meeting long-term care needs in Regina and the Grenfell area," the statement reads, adding the requests are just one of many options the government is looking at to find efficient ways to maintain and repair aging facilities. 

Meili said the proposed move raises questions, including how private care for high-need residents would be funded, and the government should have consulted the public.

He said the move is concerning, suggesting the government is "giving up on doing what they need to do, which is investing and improving the quality of long-term care."

The statement from Minister Reiter said long-term care services will continue to be publicly funded. 

Reiter said the Saskatchewan Health Authority is responsible for determining where to allocate the $44 million provided  for facility maintenance in this year's budget.