Surgical wait times are up again – and Saskatchewan’s NDP is blaming it on the government.
In a news release, NDP leader Cam Broten accused the government of cutting surgical budgets.
“After a decade of unprecedented prosperity and record revenues, it’s so frustrating to see surgical waits growing again. Instead of cutting the surgeries budget, they should have cut their own wasteful spending.”
In the release, the NDP said the number of patients waiting for surgery has jumped 73 per cent across Saskatchewan since March, when it claims the government cut the surgical budget.
Speaking to media on Monday, Health Minister Dustin Duncan said that surgical wait times are up a bit, but 90 per cent of people are still getting a date within three months, and 99 per cent are getting a date within six months.
“I’ll stack that up against every single province in this country,” said Duncan.
He said that they’re keeping an eye on it, but surgical wait times are no longer a top priority.
“I’m not overly concerned about that, I mean, we’re going to keep a close eye on it, but the progress that we have made in this province, and where we continue to be today, even with those numbers increasing on a very small basis compared to the overall picture, I think we’re still in a good position compared to every other province in this country.”
When it comes to accusations of budget cutting, Duncan said their haven’t been any cuts. He said they work with health regions to help them stay within their budgets, and, for regions which are in good fiscal positions, the government may reassess whether they need the entirety of their bi-weekly payment – how money is doled out to the regions.