NDP promises to reduce wait times by hiring hundreds of health care workers

SASKATOON —
Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili committed to reduce health care wait times in the province at a campaign event in Saskatoon on Saturday.

“We have a plan to invest in health care to reduce wait times, to hire hundreds of doctors, nurses, health care professionals to invest in mental health, to make sure the patients, wherever they are get the care they need when they needed.”

Meili also reemphasized his expectation of cuts from a Saskatchewan Party government if they are re-elected, comparing the party to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party.

“We’ve all seen it, conservative parties, always do the exact same thing: they cut and privatize in their first two years of government, and then pretend they won’t do that anymore as an election is coming,” Meili said.

“We saw this in 2017. After the Sask. Party had promised no cuts, no privatization, instead, they killed of STC and [had] dozens of meetings to try to sell SaskTel and SGI and cut deeply into healthcare and education.”

During this week’s provincial debate, Moe said a Saskatchewan Party government would not sell off any of the province’s Crown corporations. He added there would also be no cuts.

In a statement, the Saskatchewan Party said it stands by its health care record.

“The Saskatchewan Party is proud of our record of investing in health care, and Saskatchewan Party leader Scott Moe’s commitment to strengthening health care in Saskatchewan has been clear,” the statement said.

It also called out the record of previous NDP governments, citing hospital closures, losing nurse and doctors and long surgical wait times.

The Saskatchewan Party has committed to building urgent care centres in Regina and Saskatoon, a new hospital in Weyburn, building an expansion to the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital and investing in further health services.

“We will continue to build on our record of constructing new hospitals including the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, hiring 900 more doctors and 3,800 more nurses, and reducing surgical wait times to among the lowest in Canada,” the statement said.

The Saskatchewan general election will take place on Oct. 26. For more election coverage from CTV News Saskatoon and CTV News Regina, visit us here.

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