September 10, 2014 8:00 pm
Updated: September 11, 2014 12:10 am

Survey illustrates room for improvement in the health care system


REGINA – A survey made public Wednesday reveals Saskatchewan health care workers aren’t overly happy with their jobs.

The employee engagement survey was conducted province-wide in April and released publicly by the opposition NDP following a freedom of information request.

“We would acknowledge that we need to do a better job of engaging front-line staff and even some of the criticism around the Lean initiative,” admitted Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan health minister.

Health care workers from across the province answered a series of questions regarding career opportunities, co-workers and changes to the system.

A few of the answers that stand out include:

  • 36 per cent said “my future career opportunities here look good”
  • 22 per cent said “we are attracting the people we need to be successful”
  • 18 per cent said “senior leaders act on employee feedback”
  • 29 per cent said “we’re transforming the health care system to significantly improve quality of care in the province”

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“71 per cent of healthcare workers, clearly saying that it’s going in the wrong direction. That the changes occuring are not helping patient care. That’s a strong message,” said Cam Broten, Saskatchewan NDP leader.

A similar survey was done previously and Duncan concedes not much has changed.

“It’s essentially the same number of what we would have seen a couple of years ago. One of the big differences we did this year was we did a survey for physicians, which we had not done in the past,” said Duncan.

Doctors, specifically, were asked whether they agree their health region provides the highest quality of care and 41 per cent answered yes.

“It seems to be that the health care workplace is not particularly happy and engaged,” said Steven Lewis, a Saskatoon-based health policy consultant and president of Access Consulting.

“I think if I were a leader in this system, I would want to get to the root causes of why that might be.”

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