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May - Highlights from the meeting of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority

Sun Country Regional Health Authority approved a balanced budget of $153 million to operate the Sun Country Health Region during the fiscal year 2015-16 at its regular meeting May 27, 2015.

The budget provides for the operating and capital budgets for the Region’s 28 health care facilities, operating funds for affiliates, budgets to operate 40 health care programs, and salaries and benefits for the Region’s 2,377 staff members during the current fiscal year.

Included in the budget are new funds to operate a new CT scan program to be located at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan, increased ultrasound services in Estevan and Weyburn, increases in some utility budgets, expanded bursary commitments, a new cooling system for St. Joseph’s Hospital, a fire sprinkler for Borderline Housing, and funds to begin the planning process for a new hospital in Weyburn.

Programs will be directed to improve the quality of care for patients, residents and clients; reduce Emergency Department wait times; improve patient flow and care to seniors; and strengthen Mental Health and Addiction services.

Cost savings will come through an increased focus on reduced overtime, attendance management, and a delay in filling some out-of-scope positions.

About 91 per cent of Sun Country Health Region’s revenue comes from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, with eight per cent coming from patient fees and one per cent from other areas.

In other business, members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority learned:

- That $79,000 has been allocated to the implementation of purposeful rounding in long term care facilities in the Region. Purposeful Rounding is the regular visit of staff members to long term care residents’ bedside to proactively identify and meet their fundamental care needs and psychological safety. The over-all goal is better care.

- Seven beds in the acute care wing of Redvers Health Centre were opened April 1 as stable palliative/convalescent and respite beds. The full acute wing can be opened once sufficient nurses are hired.

- Replacement ambulances have been ordered for Estevan and Oxbow emergency medical services.

- Nine clients are now on a wait list for the Region’s lymphedema program.

- A trial Cardiac Rehabilitation program will be held in Weyburn for six weeks this summer, beginning July 15.

- All staff will undergo hand hygiene training. The training began in May, as did a staff immunization program that is expected to be completed by July 31.

- A new electronic system in the Region’s Public Health Department will provide one single, confidential client record for all Saskatchewan residents who receive public health services, no matter where in the province they received the services. The system has begun with vaccine inventories and immunizations and soon will include communicable disease investigations, communicable disease outbreaks and family health in the future. All health regions are installing the same system to provide improved services to residents.

Sun Country Regional Health Authority accepted the resignation of Vice Chair Lori Carr, who has been nominated as the Saskatchewan Party candidate in the Estevan Constitutency.. The Authority also approved a 1.5 per cent salary increase in the base pay of the President and CEO, Marga Cugnet, as directed by the Ministry of Health.

Posted June 1

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