Sask. will not send health-care help to Ontario: Premier
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province’s health-care workers are needed for the pandemic response here and cannot be sent to aid with Ontario’s situation.
Premier Doug Ford’s government has reached out to every province and territory asking for help with health-care resources. The majority would be deployed to the Greater Toronto Area, according to a letter from Ontario’s Ministry of Health.
"I have reached out to all the premiers, and we're a close group of premiers," Ford said. "I know if there's anything they can do, they will do it for us."
The request for health-care workers includes:
- 500 Nurses (ICU/Critical Care/recovery room/general)
- 100 Respiratory Therapists
- 10 Perfusionists
- 10 Anesthesia Assistants
Following Question Period on Friday, Moe said his government received the formal request this morning, but added Saskatchewan needs its health-care workers at home right now.
“We just don’t have the capacity to start even talking about loaning our health-care workers out for a period of time to other provinces,” Moe said. “They’re quite busy and rightfully so putting the priorities of Saskatchewan residents first and foremost.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney similarly said Friday his province could not spare health-care workers.
“Our Saskatchewan health-care workers are quite busy here at the moment not only offering regular health-care services that would be offered in our facilities but also offering elevated health-care services to folks that have COVID in our health-care facilities,” Moe said, noting front-line workers are also active in testing facilities, vaccine distribution and long-term care.
Moe said the province would formally respond to the Ontario request sometime Friday.
Elsewhere the Canadian Medical Association called for a more national approach to allocating resources based on where they're needed most, including vaccines.
“We are not at a point and time where we’re ready to have conversations about loaning Saskatchewan’s allocations of vaccines out," Moe said.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili pointed to Saskatchewan's COVID-19 ICU admissions as reason enough to ensure vaccines keep coming to the province.
"I don’t see why we would divert them away from this province where we have a real problem to somewhere else," Meili said. "Same thing with health-care workers."
The prime minister said Friday the government is in discussions about turning more health-care resources from other provinces to Ontario if needed.
With files from CTV News Toronto’s Colin D’Mello