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Regional Health Authority Highlights for January

Members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA) heard at their regular meeting on January 29 about progress on the two construction projects continuing in Sun Country Health Region  (SCHR).

They learned that completion of the new integrated Radville Marian Health Centre is expected in May. Planning has started to move residents in July to the new facility.

Construction of a new Kipling Integrated Health Centre is ahead of schedule. That project will be completed by December of this year.

SCRHA members also learned that:

  • A Primary Health site is being established in Carnduff.  Sun Country Health Region’s Primary Health Care department and the community have been working together on development. No date has been set for opening.


  • Chronic Disease Management programs in the Region are under review and evaluation. Access to programs that help residents manage chronic disease like depression, diabetes, COPD and heart disease, has become an issue with the high increase in demand. SCHR teams will assess the supply/demand and patient flow to react to the need. 
  •  Ten people are on the waiting list for the new lymphedema treatment program established last year in the Region.  
  • The waiting list in Weyburn for physiotherapy services is growing. The department is recruiting more Physical Therapists and working with saskdocs to fill these vacancies. 
  • From Dec. 1, 2013 to Jan 18, 2014, SCHR hired 17 RNs, one LPN; one Occupational Therapist, two cooks; and one out-of-scope staff. Resignations for the same period include seven RNs, three LPNs, one Occupational Therapist and two out-of-scope staff.  
  • Seven doctors who have stated their intention to practice in SCHR’s communities this year have entered the January SIPPA (Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment) program.   
  • Fifty students have been awarded student bursaries from April 1, 2013 including: three in Medicine; 40 students in Registered Nursing; one in the Nurse Practitioner program, one in Occupational Therapy, one in Advanced Care Paramedic, two in the Emergency Medical Responder program; two in the Primary Care Paramedic program. SCHR awarded 54 bursaries from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. One medical student (who is currently a Resident) will be finished in 2014. SCHR is in discussions with him regarding placement.
  • SCHR continues to offer clinical placements for students, primarily in the nursing programs. This is viewed as a significant recruitment opportunity. In December, clinical placements took place with seven LPN students in St. Joseph’s Hospital. In January, clinical placements took place with one NP in Carlyle and 12 RN students (10 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, one in Weyburn Population Health, one in Estevan Home Care).  
  • SCHR’s rate of staff members off work on sick leave was about 21 per cent lower from April 2013 to December than the same period the year before. The target for the Region during that period was a 6.2 per cent reduction. 
  • From April to December 2013, SCHR is approx 12.15 per cent above the hours paid at a premium rate as compared to the same period in 2012. The drivers of premium pay hours are EMS standby, callback hours and lack of available staff to work relief shifts at regular pay, especially in rural areas.  
  • As of December 22, 2013, there were three patients who have waited more than six months for surgery.  There were eight patients who had waited more than three months for surgery (a 91 per cent decrease since April 1, 2010).  We have no patients waiting longer than 12 months (a 100 per cent decrease since April 1, 2010).  
  • An Ontario-based doctor has accepted the vacant position of Vice President, Medical. He is expected to start March 3, 2014.  
  • The SCHR Home Care department is participating in both regional and provincial strategies to develop guidelines to improve the care provided to clients at risk of or with vascular compromise. Colleen Scharnatta leads the regional team of Primary Health providers including doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy and Home Care Nurses to enhance the services provided at primary health care sites and throughout the community. 
  • Six of the nine hoshins (improvement projects) in progress this year in SCHR are on target. Those include dementia care, healthy weights in childhood, stroke strategy, hand hygiene, doctor recruitment, and stop the line projects. The medication administration project, injury reduction and antimicrobial stewardship projects are not completely meeting the targets, sometimes due to a move from the Ministry of Health to develop province-wide standards. Progress will be determined before the March 31 deadline.   
  • The next meeting of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority will be Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Estevan at 1:30 p.m.  The public is invited to attend.

 Posted Jan. 31. 

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