Premier Scott Moe is requesting additional support from the federal government to help Saskatchewan’s struggling health-care system amid the country’s worst surge of COVID-19 cases.
A day after Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab and the Saskatchewan Health Authority painted a bleak picture for the province moving forward, Moe said Thursday he spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the phone for some targeted support.
The biggest concern isn’t available beds in hospitals, it’s available workers. Moe’s top request was finding specialized health workers, such as respirologists and critical care aides.
“It isn’t a large number of thousands of people that would come in — let’s say the army or activating the Rangers. It’s a smaller number of very specific, highly trained individuals that we need. That request will be with the federal government shortly,” Moe said.
According to a report by The Canadian Press, Trudeau has promised to provide any supports necessary to help Saskatchewan deal with COVID.
A statement said Trudeau reiterated the federal government “remains ready to respond to any requests” from Saskatchewan for aid.
An SHA news release Wednesday said staff were being redeployed to critical care and other COVID-19 care services which “are required as a result of unprecedented hospitalization rates, with overall hospitalizations and admissions to ICU due to COVID nearly tripling over the last month.”
“We will not only not have Thanksgiving, at this rate we will likely not have Christmas and New Year. It will be a fall and winter of misery at the current rate that we will have high hospitalizations due to preventable illness,” Shahab said during Wednesday’s update.
“Other restrictions will likely have to come if our numbers don’t change.”