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Letters to the Editor

11/22/2017

Transition to single provincial health authority raises concerns

The Editor: As we transition to one provincial Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) in December, health care workers are anxious about yet another health care experiment by this government.

The government claims merging 12 health regions into one will save between $10 to $20 million in executive salaries and board expenses, a drop in the $4 billion health care budget. Now the new SHA CEO tells us the restructuring is not about saving money but allowing “patients to move seamlessly through the system.”

Improving patient care is important, but we’ve been sold this bill of goods before.

The health system-wide implementation of Lean or Kaizen methods, which morphed into Continuous Quality Improvement, was also supposed to improve patient care and save millions of dollars.

Numbers we obtained from an Access to Information request to the Ministry of Health show that in 2015-16, there were 190.7 full-time staff working in Kaizen in the province. Salary and benefits for these employees totalled $54.24 million from 2012 - 2015. The number of Kaizen staff was reduced to 138.3 in 2017, but we estimate total salary and benefit costs since 2012 were $94 million. This doesn’t include the cost to implement Lean, estimated by University of Saskatchewan professors at between $44 and $49.6 million.

To put this into perspective, the amount spent on 190 Kaizen staff in 2015 - 16 would have been enough to pay for 405 full-time continuing care aides in long-term care, where there are crushing workloads and a desperate need for more one-on-one care for seniors. — Sandra Seitz, president of the CUPE Health Care Council

 

A great division is happening in our church

The Editor: I was shocked by the vindictive comments made by Rev. Reese, SJ, about Rev. Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis. Describing him as “grand inquisitor, persecutor . . . did everything he could to destroy reputations and careers” is he not now trying to destroy Weinandy?

I give Weinandy credit for having the courage to write to the pope regarding the question which is on so many lips, loyalists as well as dissenters regarding the church’s position on remarriage after divorce, but I don’t like the ill will it has produced.

Reese’s comments about Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict as being the reasons for lack of dialogue are also so unfair. Has Pope Francis encouraged dialogue when he refuses to answer the questions of cardinals and theologians?

I feel a great division happening in our church and I wish it could be avoided. Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts with your light and love. — Rosemary Lalonde, Kelowna, B.C.