Health Minister Pat Atkinson & Saskatchewan Nurses:

Out of Touch, Out of Law

By Mario deSantis, January 24, 2000

  After legislating against the nurses' strike in April 1999(1), Premier Roy Romanow made peace
the carrot has been taken away from this management style with the same nurses when he repealed the back to work legislation(2). At that time the
government was playing the discretional and authoritarian management style defined as
"stick and carrot"(3). Today, the carrot has been taken away from this management style and
what is left is just the "stick", that is we must do whatever the government say, and if we don't
they legislate. So, it was not a surprise that Health Minister Pat Atkinson unveiled at the
  legislature a plan to shorten the training period for nurses(4).
  Our compassionate Pat Atkinson, talked on behalf of the Saskatchewan Nurses and stated that
four-year degree nursing program into a three-year it was not fair that Saskatchewan Nurses require a four year degree while other provinces allow
nurses to be licensed after a shorter period of time. Therefore, she is planning to eventually
compress the four-year degree nursing program into a three-year degree program. In the
meantime, current nursing students are upset about the uncertainties affecting their program of
studies and have been left with the supposed option to leave the program after three years and
  alleviate the current nursing shortage.
SRNA --authority to licence nurses Rivie Seaberg, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA),
has pointed out that it is the SRNA -- and not the minister of health -- that has the legislative
authority to licence nurses. In response to the meddling of Pat Atkinson into the affairs of the
association, Rivie Seaberg has commented "We are not sure what she is saying".
  What is sure is that this government has lost touch with the people, and that it is becoming
Who is out of touch and breaking the law Honourable Pat Atkinson? accountable only to itself. Therefore, we cannot trust this government anymore. Pat Atkinson
has blamed doctors for the deaths of patients(5); she has stated that our bureaucracy "... was
being too busy to really listen, to really hear, all the legitimate concerns facing nurses and
other healthcare workers(6)..."; she has commissioned a biased statistical study supporting the
betterment of health care in rural Saskatchewan(7); she has supported the overrun of $50 million
for the closure of the Plains Health Centre(8); she continues to find solutions to health care
problems by contracting out specialized studies(9)(10) rather than to partner with our
professional medical and nursing associations; she has accused the nurses of breaking
the law(11); and she is tolerating the breaking of the law when health districts budget
  operational deficits. Who is out of touch and breaking the law Honourable Pat Atkinson?


Bad Faith of Honourable Romanow: Back To Work Legislation For Nurses, by Mario deSantis, April 9, 1999


Premier Romanow: Reinventing The Rule Of Law And Becoming Above The Law, by Mario deSantis, September 2, 1999


Premier Romanow: A Jackass Makes Phony Peace With The Saskatchewan Nurses, by Mario deSantis, August 31, 1999


Nursing plan panned, by Neil Scott, The Leader-Post, January 24, 2000, Regina, Saskatchewan


Pat Atkinson: blaming the doctors for the deaths of patients, by Mario deSantis, January 17, 2000


News Release dated Apr 12, 1999, Health 99 - 287, MINISTER APPEALS TO NURSES, letter dated 11 April 1999 from Health Minister Pat Atkinson to Saskatchewan Union of Nurses President Rosalee Longmoore


Fragmented Research comes to the help of Saskatchewan Reform, by Mario deSantis, September 28, 1999


The closure of the Plains Health Centre: The $50 million overrun and the gimmick of saving money in health care, by Mario deSantis, December 19, 1999


Study aims to shed light on Sask. Health care, by Gerry Klein, The StarPhoenix, December 9, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Province faces eight-year nursing shortage, by Martin O'Hanlon, The StarPhoenix, Jan 20, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The referenced report on the shortage of nurses was authored by Doug Elliott, publisher of the Saskatchewan Monitor Trends.


SUN's Strike and Premier Romanow's Paper Legislation, by Mario deSantis, April 22, 1999