Regina Leader-Post

Medical students stress seniors’ care


A dozen Saskatchew­an medical students were at the Legislativ­e Building on Tuesday to lobby for changes to seniors’ health care.

The Student Medical Society of Saskatchew­an (SMSS) represents some 400 medical students in Saskatoon and Regina.

In coming years, they will be the ones providing care for seniors, so they wanted to make their thoughts known.

“We want that care to be the best it can be, so we want to encourage policy-makers to see the big picture,” said chair Jessica Harris.

The group met with ministers, the Human Services Caucus Policy Committee and the opposition caucus, with Harris saying both sides of the political divide seemed receptive to the three-pronged approach SMSS put forward.



Harris acknowledg­ed the issue of seniors’ care has been discussed extensivel­y in the house over the last few months, but said her group “brings a unique perspectiv­e” to the table.

“Even if the policies we brought forward aren’t adopted, we care about seniors’ care, and we want to start a conversati­on.”

Greg Ottenbreit, Rural and Remote Health Minister, said the gover nment continues to focus on improving home care, and does not believe cases of seniors neglect in care homes across Saskatchew­an are part of a systemic issue. The ombudsman launched an investigat­ion in November following the death and alleged mistreatme­nt of a senior at a Regina care home. Mary McFadyen said in January that her office had received about 35 complaints related to care in long-term care facilities since her investigat­ion started. NDP Leader Cam Broten has repeatedly criticized the government’s stance on seniors care and is calling for minimum care standards in the province.

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