Released on January 13, 2022
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has updated its COVID-19 surge plan based on the expected increase in demand and increase in staff absenteeism due to the Omicron variant. This plan includes five key strategies which will help ensure Saskatchewan patients continue to receive the best care possible:
- Establishment of "Go Teams" of medical professionals that can quickly mobilize and deploy to help maintain continuity of key services across the province;
- Optimize acute care capacity and emergency department flow;
- Maintain enhancements to Emergency Medical Services that have been put in place to manage additional demand through previous COVID case surges;
- Implement key provincial human resource strategies like cross training staff to meet multiple system needs and utilizing Supplemental Workforce Teams; and
- Time-limited, targeted service slowdowns when/where required.
This proactive plan would be implemented in the event the province was to experience a significant increase in acute care patients at hospitals, or if the health care system faced potential staffing shortages in a situation where large numbers of health care providers were required to self-isolate due to COVID.
The plan would ensure human resources are available to step up capacity in phases as demand escalates. This will ensure any impacts to services are as short and targeted as possible.
"As we scale up to meet the increased demand due to Omicron, we know it will impact our health care teams," Interim Chief Operating Officer, and lead for SHA's emergency response Derek Miller said. "These strategies will help protect our ability to deliver essential lifesaving supports for those most in need, ensure any effects on services are as temporary as possible and position us to rapidly and safely return services to normal as pressures subside."
Additional updates will be provided on any service changes that may be required as demand increases.
For more information, contact:Media Relations
Saskatchewan Health Authority