Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Campaign Update: Trent Wotherspoon

Trent's Website: LINK

Another policy release from Trent's campaign today, this time looking at medicare. So, let's have a look at what Trent is proposing.

The first plank revolves around community wellness securing medicare for the future. Trent's plan calls for the creation of a Healthy Communities Taskforce to focus on preventative medicine (with special consideration for youth, Aboriginals, women, seniors, and immigrants). Foster the creation of community health centres (staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, counselors, community workers, and dieticians) to promote healthy living and provide care. Make the current system more efficient by expanding the roles of nurse practitioners. Create more 24-hour urgent walk in clinics near hospitals to reduce strains on ERs. Increase the seats in the medical program at the U of S and provide more opportunities for students to gain experience in rural and urban areas outside of Saskatoon. Explore the possibility of expanding the Social Pediatrics model in use at St. Mary's in Saskatoon (that has doctors and nurse practitioners visit K-12 students and diagnose health problems before they become serious and more costly to treat). Place a focus on "upstream investments" that improve well-being and address the social determinants of health.

The second plank revolves around seniors and healthcare. Trent's plan calls for the adaptation of a report to bring more homecare systems into the health system, while also taking measure to assess and address the needs of seniors and caregivers. An increase in subsidizes for long-care senior care, including increasing the number of long-term spaces and ensuring that couples are not separated when one or both enter long-term care. Try to address the rising cost of prescription drugs by following the New Zealand model that has a tendering system for generic drugs.

The third plank revolves around improving the current system and erasing social stigmas and taboos. Trent's plan calls for A provincial HIV/AIDS strategy that promotes voluntary testing and establishes a committee to focus on reduction and prevention of new cases. Opening a dialogue with mental health professionals, community & First Nations leaders, employers, and patients to inform and make recommendations to address mental health care in the province. The appointing of a Youth Council to advise the Premier on issues such as youth bullying, depression, addictions, and community health to hopefully reduce youth suicide rates in the province.

Again, a lot of good ideas here. Perhaps the one that tends to stand out the most is the St. Mary's School program. I wasn't aware such a program existed, as I'm sure a lot of people don't, but hearing about it has left me with the distinct impression that it might be one of the social programs that people will continue to talk about throughout the race.

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