Health care workers, patients and families entering hospitals in the province will now have the protection of a safe zone or “bubble”.
Legislation was passed in the Saskatchewan legislature to create and enforce safe access zones around hospitals. Any protests near hospitals must now be outside of a 50-metre perimeter to ensure people accessing the facilities aren’t delayed or harassed.
“This legislation will ensure that health care providers can go to work safely and patients and their families can access health care services without feeling scared or threatened,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “It is important to provide this protection for those accessing our hospital system.”
The safe access portion of the legislation, which does not apply to lawful labour picketing, will expire in two years.
The Public Health (Safe Access to Hospitals) Amendment Act, 2021 also builds in flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the capacity to provide immunizations. The legislation enables additional immunizers to assist with vaccination programs, including influenza vaccine, COVID-19 boosters and vaccines for children aged five to 11.
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