|Today, October 7th, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the creation of a Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) led by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) to centralize and lead the emergency management response to COVID-19. The stated intent of the PEOC is to better support a coordinated response to the pressures on the province’s healthcare system.
According to the government’s press release (viewed here), the new provincial emergency operations structure will be overseen by a joint management committee made up of Marlo Pritchard, President of the SPSA, Scott Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and Max Hendricks, Deputy Minister of Health.
According to the October 7th, 2021, Daily Rounds, the SHA has identified this as an unprecedented situation, and in the coming days will enact strategies to maximize capacity and to ensure they are doing everything they can to provide the best care under these difficult circumstances.
As stated by Scott Livingstone, these strategies ensure that the SHA is maximizing the capacity of care providers, beds and equipment to ensure that both COVID and non-COVID care needs are addressed by the team and at the facility best suited to meet the need. The SHA identified this may include, but is not limited to:
- Accelerating the transfer of low acuity patients and alternative level of care patients out of Saskatoon and Regina hospitals to rural and north locations, as well as between rural and north locations, even when the patient and the family may not be supportive of where they are being sent.
- Sending a patient out of province, even under circumstances where you would normally have a bed close to home.
- Implementing pandemic crisis care principles, even when that may involve making ethical choices about who gets critical lifesaving supports.
SUN has also been advised that an SHA review is underway and could mean changes to models of care, including who will do the work, how many staff will do the work, and where that work will be done.