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News release: SMA denounces protest at home of Chief Medical Health Officer

Jan. 25, 2020 – for immediate release

The president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) is strongly denouncing what she says is an effort by a small group of protesters to harass and intimidate one of the SMA’s members, Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.

On Saturday, Jan. 23, a group of protesters showed up outside Dr. Shahab’s residence, an action that came only days after a similar group protested when Dr. Shahab left the Legislative Building. The SMA stands firmly with Dr. Shahab and all of his public health colleagues throughout the province doing critical work during this pandemic.

“Bringing a protest to Dr. Shahab’s private residence is absolutely unacceptable, and the SMA condemns these actions,” said Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, president of the SMA.

Dr. Konstantynowicz said she commends Premier Scott Moe for denouncing these kinds of tactics as wrong and misdirected. In his public comments the premier indicated that if protesters have a problem with public health policy they should be directing their concerns to elected officials, not a civil servant.

“Since the pandemic, physicians and all health-care providers have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to caring for and putting the safety Saskatchewan citizens first. Everyone’s effort to reduce the spread of this virus is critical,” Dr. Konstantynowicz said. “Measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing, hand-washing and limiting the size of gatherings, remain the best defence against COVID-19 spread.

“The SMA is extremely grateful for Dr. Shahab’s tireless, dedicated efforts in fighting the pandemic on behalf of the people of the province.”

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