Authors: John Agioritis, Tom Richards
On May 4, 2020, Saskatchewan introduced the first phase of a five-phase program to lift restrictions on businesses and services. For general information on this phased program see our “Re-Open Saskatchewan” – Business in the New Normal: Saskatchewan Introduces Five Phase Plan blog.
This first phase is centred primarily on medical services, and will allow the following previously restricted medical services to largely resume operations:
- Physical therapy;
- Optician services;
- Occupational therapy; and
- Chiropractic treatment.
Although medical service providers are allowed to largely resume operations, they are required to adhere to a number of general public health and occupational health and safety guidelines. For more on these general guidelines see our Saskatchewan Issues Workplace Health and Safety Guidelines for Employers as Businesses Reopen blog. In addition to these general guidelines, medical service providers are required to adhere to a number of guidelines that are specific to the services that they provide. These specific guidelines are outlined at pages 24-25 of Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, the document that substantiates the phased re-opening of the province. The Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan can be found here.
The specific guidelines for medical services are divided into two general categories. The first category is Patient and Client Considerations. Among other things, this category contains guidelines that relate to booking and waiting room procedures for inpatients and clients.
The second category is Cleaning and Disinfecting, which is a theme that permeates the entirety of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. Among other things, this category contains guidelines that relate to cleaning standards, laundry processes and the sharing of office equipment.
As a final point, medical services providers are required to carefully consider any COVID-19 safe return-to-work recommendations provided by professional associations or regulatory bodies.
It is vital for medical service providers to understand their occupational health and safety obligations as they plan to more fully resume operations. The MLT Aikins occupational health and safety, and labour and employment team will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates on legal issues that may impact employers. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team if you require assistance in ensuring your organization is prepared to resume operations, and particularly if you are unsure as to how your business can satisfy the workplace safety and legal obligations which form part of that resumption.
Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation