REGINA - Premier Scott Moe has issued a Minister's Order reinstating the previously negotiated letter of understanding among the Saskatchewan Health Authority, affiliates and unions to move staff to areas most affected by the most recent surge in COVID-19.
A release issued Monday stated the Government of Saskatchewan has issued a new Provincial Emergency Order to once again provide for health system labour mobility through greater flexibility in scheduling and redirecting health care workers to areas experiencing capacity pressures and in the use of supplementary resources. The provisions are effective immediately.
A previous letter of understanding (LOU) enabled the SHA to ensure the right staff were available at the right place and time to help in the COVID-19 response. That LOU expired earlier this year.
Signatories were the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Employees International Union - West, Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union and Saskatchewan Union of Nurses.
Other measures were re-introduce last week. To alleviate pressure on the health-care system, the government said Friday it is reinstating mandatory isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19 and expanding testing and contact tracing.
Unvaccinated residents will also need to self-isolate if they come in contact with a positive case, but fully vaccinated people will not face the same requirement.
In order to expand surge capacity in hospitals, the province said there will be a reduction in non-critical and elective surgeries and procedures. However, they are looking to offset the impact by outsourcing services to smaller facilities.