Sask. minister says health-care system has enough staff to handle current COVID patient load

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman says the province just isn’t asking the federal authorities for help as a result of Saskatchewan’s health-care system has enough employees to handle its load of sufferers with and with out COVID-19.

Merriman took questions from reporters Thursday after receiving his seasonal flu shot at a pharmacy in Regina Thursday. 

Asked why the Saskatchewan authorities just isn’t requesting health-care staff from Ottawa — a transfer confirmed Wednesday by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency — Merriman replied, “because the Saskatchewan Health Authority is telling me they have the resources in place to meet our needs.”

Merriman’s comment got here solely a day after Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, mentioned the system was nonetheless beneath “significant pressures” due to the flood of COVID-19 sufferers into Saskatchewan hospitals. 

Saskatchewan stays the jurisdiction in Canada with the best variety of COVID-19 deaths per capita over the previous 14 days and the best variety of COVID-19 circumstances over the identical time interval, in accordance to Health Canada. 

Saskatchewan has been in talks with Ontario about doubtlessly shifting some ICU sufferers out of province due to these pressures.

On Thursday, Merriman mentioned discussions have additionally begun with the provincial authorities of Manitoba about shifting sufferers there.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman receives a flu vaccine on Oct. 14, 2021. (Alexander Quon/CBC News)

He additionally defined the federal government’s reasoning in sending sufferers out of province, moderately than bringing in federal help. 

“It’s much easier for us to be able to move people out of province and they be treated in care and they’re in the community that the practitioners are able to provide that care instead of pulling people into our system,” Merriman mentioned. 

Questions over vaccination charges

The well being minister tried to defend the province’s vaccination charges on Thursday, rejecting the notion that Saskatchewan has among the many lowest vaccine charges out of any province or territory. 

“We have a whole bunch of health cards of people that have moved out of the province, [or] that … have been vaccinated in other provinces but aren’t being counted here in Saskatchewan. So we’ve been in the process of cleaning that up,” he mentioned. 

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman speaks at a press convention on Oct. 14, 2021. (Alexander Quon/CBC News)

Merriman would not present specifics on how that will change vaccination totals within the province.

Saskatchewan has seen an uptick in COVID-19 vaccinations since asserting a proof-of-vaccination coverage within the province. 

However, it lags behind practically each different province and territory, in addition to the nationwide common for each first and second doses. 

Only 83.7 per cent of eligible Saskatchewan residents have a primary dose. That determine drops to 74.6 per cent when those that are absolutely vaccinated. 

The well being minister mentioned he was inspired by latest, decrease each day will increase in new COVID-19 circumstances however mentioned it is too early to name it a development. 

Merriman mentioned he’ll look to get COVID-19 modelling knowledge to the general public and media as quickly as doable. 

Dr. Tania Diener, the Saskatchewan Health Authorities’ director for immunization, speaks at a press convention on Oct. 14, 2021, as Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman appears to be like on. (Alexander Quon/CBC News)

Merriman was accompanied Thursday by Dr. Tania Diener, the well being system’s director for immunization, who lately mentioned individuals aged 12 to 39 not have any excuses for ready to get vaccinated if they’re eligible.

She mentioned there is not any subject with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine on the identical time. 

“It’s just going to be two different arms and you got to go so really encourage people who still haven’t received their COVID [shot] to also get it at the same time as their flu vaccine,” Diener mentioned.

The Saskatchewan Public Health Agency hosted its first COVID-19 information convention on Wednesday.

The authorities confused in a followup be aware that the company’s updates are usually not an alternative to the province’s media availabilities, pointing to Merriman’s flu shot look for instance. 

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