Sask. makes it easier to visit health-care patients

Saskatchewan Health Authority has expanded the criteria that allow visitors to patients for compassionate reasons.

Visitors aren’t permitted at any SHA facility during COVID-19, except for compassionate reasons.

A Family Presence Expert Panel worked with SHA and public health specialists on ways people in compassionate care could receive necessary care and visits from family members.

This includes people who require support during end-of-life care, major surgery and intensive care.

The SHA said for residents in long-term care, quality of life considerations as well as care needs will be used to determine if help from a family member or support person is needed. Two people can be designated and one can be present at a time.

Critical care and intensive care patients weren’t previously included in the compassionate care definition.

The guidelines have also changed to allow one support person for patients who have specific challenges such as mobility, hearing, visual or mental health impairments.

All people who visit SHA facilities will be provided with masks.

CEO Scott Livingstone said tight control of facilities is still required to protect patients and residents from the virus, but the situation required balance.

“We have also learned that we need to find the right balance between physical safety and mental health and well-being,” he said. “We have heard that clearly from our residents, patients and families.”

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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