March 21, 2016 4:09 pm

Better senior’s care should be election issue: Sask. doctors

Saskatchewan doctors say better seniors care should be raised as an election issue.

File / Global News

MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Saskatchewan physicians want political leaders on the campaign trail to talk more about better ways to care for seniors. The Saskatchewan Medical Association says the current model is sometimes very narrowly focused on long-term care.

Association president Dr. Mark Brown says discussions around long-term care beds are important. But he says more needs to be done about seniors health-care needs.

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FULL COVERAGE: Decision Saskatchewan 2016

Brown says the health-care system needs more geriatricians – doctors who specialize in treating seniors with multiple medical problems, including dementia.

He also says an improved system would, where possible, move care out of hospitals and into the community in places such as patients’ homes.

“Our current system assumes episodic care and sees it as a series of separate events – frequent hospitalization and institutionalization – when really a system of continuous, inter-professional care would be a better way to meet the needs and desires of the elderly,” Brown said in a news release Monday.

Brown said the health-care system will experience serious challenges once baby boomers start to move through.

“The SMA is urging policy makers to start to make these kinds of changes now, so that we’ll be in a better position to deal with the larger demographic pressures coming in five to ten years.”

The association, which represents 2,300 doctors, is raising issues leading up to the April 4 vote, including tobacco control and access to mental health care.

READ MORE: Sask. doctors want parties to address smoking during election run

Earlier this month, the association called for legislation around e-cigarettes and a ban on all flavoured tobacco to discourage smoking among youth.

Brown pointed out that there are no Saskatchewan regulations around buying e-cigarettes, even though the products contain nicotine.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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