REGINA, SK - Judging by a new public opinion survey, the vast majority of Saskatchewan residents share a common wish for our health care system in 2011. They want to see the Saskatchewan government invest in public solutions to surgical wait times, not private clinics.
According to the poll, 60.4 per cent of those surveyed want the Saskatchewan government to reduce surgical wait times by investing in the public hospital system; while only 24.2 per cent support the government’s decision to use private-for-profit surgical clinics.
The Viewpoints Research poll, commissioned by CUPE Saskatchewan, surveyed 602 residents across the province from December 6-16. The margin of error is ± 4 per cent.
The poll also found most respondents are critical of the government’s decision to postpone construction of a new outpatient surgical clinic in Regina. Originally announced by the NDP government in 2007, the $14 million public day surgery centre was supposed to be operational by 2010. But last year the SaskParty government postponed funding for the project. Instead, the government spent $5.5 million in payments to private surgical clinics.
According to the Viewpoints poll, 56.8 per cent of respondents oppose the government’s decision to invest in private clinics instead of a public surgical centre, while only 33.7 per cent support it.
“Our Viewpoints survey shows Saskatchewan people clearly want the government to build the surgical capacity of our public system,” says CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham. He urged the Saskatchewan government to make a positive commitment to health care in this year’s provincial budget by restoring funding for the long overdue public surgical centre in Regina.
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