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2012-13 Budget supports strategic priorities

The Sun Country Regional Health Authority approved an operating budget of $137 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year at its regular meeting on May 23.

The budget will support the Region’s goals of providing Better Health, Better Care, and Better Value to the residents/patients and clients served through the year.

“We are pleased to have approved a balanced budget that will result in improved services and a plan to create a more efficient operation over-all,” says Marilyn Charlton, Chair of the Regional Health Authority.

The Region has several targeted service improvements planned for 2012-13:

-         Expanding the work of the Chronic Disease Program by adding the early detection program for kidney disease to include the City of Estevan and area;

-         Partnering with the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency to offer the colorectal cancer screening program to residents between the ages of 50-74 years;

-         Providing access to a Primary Health Care team for 25 per cent more residents of the Region;

-         Offering patients a surgical date within six months of being booked for surgery, to ensure sooner, safer, smarter surgical care;  

-         Educating more staff in the Lean method of identifying efficiencies and improving their work processes, realizing not only cost savings but also freeing up more time and resources for direct patient care ;

-         Reorganizing the discharge planning system so recuperating patients are assured of the supports they need to return home more quickly;

-         Extending a treatment program for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to Weyburn and Estevan;

-         Reducing the number of falls causing injury by five per cent over-all and by 10 per cent in long term care facilities;

-         Increasing the focus on hand hygiene and cleaning techniques to reduce the  infection rate in facilities;

-         Providing more supports to patients and families in psychological distress by improving mental health training for acute care staff;

-         Adding patients, former patients and family members to regional committees to help drive home the philosophy of patient and family centred care;

-         Substantially completing two long term care projects will be completed in Redvers and Radville to enhance the life of residents;

-         Completing the functional planning for the Kipling project.

About $1.3 million in equipment purchases like ambulances, telehealth units, hematology machines for laboratories, and dishwashers will be funded, in partnership with local communities, during the next year.

General efficiencies that do not impact patient care were found within the system. Those include province-wide group purchasing and product standardization for some supplies, through a new province-wide shared services system.

Improvements to a disability management program, our injury prevention program, and a safety program are expected to result in savings in the first year.

“Finding these internal efficiencies makes it possible for us to maintain and expand the programs and services needed by our residents, patients and clients,” says Marga Cugnet, Interim CEO.

“We are always mindful in our decision making of our underlying goal of providing quality patient and family centred care.”

 Posted May 30.  

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