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RHA Highlights - October

Cataract Surgical Services to be offered in Sun Country Health Region

Members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA) learned at the regular meeting in Weyburn the Region has received funding to begin offering cataract surgical services in Weyburn early in the New Year.

In other business, the members learned:

- The Region had a $1.4 million surplus in its operations at the end of July. Vice President of Corporate and Finance John Knoch explained that amount is about three days’ operating funds for the Region. President and CEO Marga Cugnet said this is a good position to be in as the Region heads into the winter months when higher salary and utility costs come in.

- There will be a three-week to one-month delay in the development of CT scan services at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan. The service was expected to be operational at the end of October.

-Two meetings of the Region’s Community Network to discuss local health care issues with the public will be held November 18 in Kenosee Lake and November 19 in Weyburn. The meetings are held from 7-9 p.m. each night. Advertising will be published in each local newspaper in the Region and invitations sent to the regional partners in the urban and rural municipalities.

-The 2015 flu campaign to immunize members of the public with influenza vaccine will begin in the Region on Monday, October 19.  Dates and locations where clinics will be held in each community will be posted on the Region’s website at and on local posters. Anyone six months and older can receive the vaccine and is encouraged to be vaccinated early in the season. The flu vaccine is a safe, effective way for people to protect themselves and those close to them during the flu season. Vaccination is especially important for people at high-risk of influenza complications, like pregnant women, young children, the elderly, persons with underlying health conditions, immune-compromised people and their caregivers.

-SCHR has established a committee to plan a new hospital in Weyburn. A draft project brief has been completed for the Ministry of Health. No location for the hospital has been chosen by the Regional Health Authority to date. “A lot of factors go into the identification of a location, including making room for a helipad to allow STARS to operate,” says Marga Cugnet, President and CEO.  “We don’t have approval to proceed to construction but we will keep the public informed as we move along,” she says. “The process is similar to that used for the three long term care projects built in the Region over the past four years.”

- Representatives from SCHR are participating with staff from other health regions in Saskatchewan to discuss policies and implementation of the Ministry of Health Program Guidelines for Special Care Homes.

- Purposeful Rounding, a revised process that requires staff to make hourly contact with long term care residents, is being implemented in long term care facilities in the Region. Mrs. Cugnet says interaction with residents has increased and the desired outcomes are being achieved in the facilities which have started the new process.

- The Redvers Acute Care wing opened just over one month ago, with no major concerns or issues identified. Nursing staff requirements remain tight.

- There has been a 50 per cent improvement in the number of patients visiting primary health care teams in the Region, reducing the need for them to attend local emergency departments. The result has been a 10 per cent reduction in the number of patients visiting emergency departments with conditions that could be seen in a doctor or nurse practitioner’s office.


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