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Highlights of the May meeting of Sun Country Regional Health Authority


The Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA), governing body of Sun Country Health Region, approved the 2013-14 budget at its regular monthly meeting in May. The $141 million budget provides for improved access to primary health services, and strengthened mental health and addictions services for an increased population.

This is a 2.6 per cent increase over the last fiscal year.

SCRHA’s revenue and expenditure plan focuses on these priority areas:
-         improved access to surgeries, primary health professionals and mental health and addictions programs
-         more colonoscopies for screening of colorectal cancer
-         more programs available to those with chronic disease
-         expansion of autism services
-         more emphasis on recruitment, especially for rural family doctors,
-         focussed work on infection control practices.

John Knoch, Vice President of Corporate and Finance, told the Regional Health Authority that all of these priorities will be aligned with the Patient First approach to care, “while continuing our strategic work (hoishins) and adapting to a lean system of management.”

"We are already seeing improvements with our investment in the lean system and will see more in the upcoming year,” he said.

The Regional Health Authority approved awarding the contract to proceed with construction of a new $25 million Kipling Integrated Health Centre. The new facility will replace Willowdale Lodge and Kipling Memorial Health Centre. It will include 33 long term care and 12 acute care beds, emergency services, as well as laboratory services and diagnostic imaging, in about 4600 square metres. The facility should be completed by the end of 2014.

A sod turning ceremony is planned for June 25.

In other business, SCRHA members learned:

  • that all long term care sites within the Region will be visited by a senior member of the administration before mid-June, at the request of the Minister of Health. The minister has asked that senior administrators meet with long term care residents and their families to conduct a Quality Assessment Review on the care and services provided.
  • That as of March 31, 2013, the Region’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff had responded to a total of 4,472 calls and travelled 671,868 km during the past year. That is a three per cent increase over the 10 year average. Weyburn had an all time high with an increase of 50 calls and 14,000 kms, with 1270 calls and 147,962 km travelled. Another record high was noted by Wawota EMS, which responded to 107 calls and travelled 22,192 kms. Pangman EMS also responded to a record number of 188 calls, travelling 31,954 kms.  Estevan EMS responded to 1007 calls and travelled 144,711 kms. 
  • Two new permanent doctors were granted privileges in SCHR.
  • SCHR has seven doctors participating in the May assessment process established by the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons for internationally-trained doctors. Members of SCHR’s Human Resources department and representatives from several communities in the Region were in Saskatoon on May 15 to greet these doctors to the province.
  • Eleven educational bursaries were awarded in May to nine students in registered nursing and two in the primary care paramedic program.
  • SCHR welcomed several medical, pharmacy and nursing students to the Region for part of their training and as part of its recruitment strategy to attract new professionals. Four nursing students entered clinical placements in community health, two registered psychiatric nurses, one nurse practitioner, one licensed practical nurse, and five physical therapy students all worked the Region this spring.
  • Two Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIW) were completed in May in SCHR. One looked at developing a new process to schedule registered nurses and the second reviewed a new process for scheduling dietary support staff. Both sessions included representatives from the union, department, staff and residents, as well as participants from other health authorities in the province.

Posted June 3..

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