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Opposition NDP raises concerns about call button in Saskatoon hospital hallway

“[SEIU-West] sent a letter to the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) outlining some of their concerns,” NDP health critic Vicki Mowat said. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan NDP raised concerns on Wednesday about why a call button was installed in a hallway at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Call light systems are usually found in hospital rooms for patients to a nurse’s attention.

READ MORE: NDP calls on province to open up Sask. Hospital records following blocked FOI request

The NDP said it shows overcrowding has become such a common problem that treating patients in hallways is becoming normal.

“[SEIU-West] sent a letter to the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) outlining some of their concerns,” NDP health critic Vicki Mowat said.
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We know that patients are being treated in hallways. One of the concerns outlined in the letter talks about call buttons being installed in the hallway because of how normal hallway medicine has become, which is so different from what we expect when we think about the quality of care that we’re going to receive in Saskatchewan hospitals.”

Saskatchewan Minister of Health Jim Reiter said the button was installed for patient safety.

“That’s an area that, on occasion, is used for overflow,” Reiter said.

“I think it makes sense. Obviously, we need to be realistic. At times, we do have overflow and if the lights are there, it’ll be safer for patients. It’s certainly isn’t ideal.”

“We don’t want to do hallway medicine. We’re taking every step you’ve heard in the legislature for some time now that we’re trying to rectify that.”

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Patient died from Saskatoon hospital overcapacity crisis: nurses’ union – Nov 6, 2019

The NDP also raised concerns about understaffing at the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

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“One of [SEIU-West’s] concerns relates to the new children’s hospital and the 52 understaffing reports that have been put toward since Oct. 9,” Mowat said.
“My staff have been reaching out to SHA, talking to them. I’m told that the reports [Mowat’s] talking about aren’t even SHA reports, they’re reports the union generated.

“We’re asking the SHA now to reach out to the union to find out whether they’ve shared that information with them or not and if they have to investigate.”

— With files from Doug Lett