ALBERTA

Saskatchewan health minister takes time with long-term care report

07/26/2013 05:17 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT
REGINA - Saskatchewan's health minister says he doesn't want to rush the release of a long-term care report.

Dustin Duncan says he wants a full understanding of what's in the report before the information is made public.

Duncan sent CEOs from all of Saskatchewan's health regions to visit long-term care homes after concerns were raised that residents were at risk because of chronic understaffing.

On Thursday, the NDP Opposition accused the government of taking too long to release what the CEOs found.

Duncan says each official submitted separate findings, so it will take a while to compile the data.

He expects a final report will be ready by the fall.

"The Ministry of Health is now doing a deeper analysis of the findings ... both the positives and the negatives that came out of it," Duncan said Friday.

Just because the report isn't ready doesn't mean the government isn't addressing the issues, he said.

"This government's response to some of the challenges we knew existed in long-term care didn't begin with this review that began this spring and certainly isn't on pause while we do this analysis."

The government has committed to replace 13 rural seniors care homes to address concerns about aging infrastructure. A pilot program aimed at keeping seniors in their own homes longer has also been introduced.

"While this review is an important step to take in addressing some of the concerns we're hearing in long- term care it certainly ... (doesn't) represents a beginning or a pause in the work we're doing," Duncan said.

"I think it will complement the work that is underway."

(CJME)

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