The provincial government has announced that they have accepted a report the Saskatchewan Advisory Panel on Health System Structure that is recommending that the 12 health regions currently in use, be amalgamated into one single heath authority.

Many expected amalgamation to be suggested in the report as a way to save money but a move to just one massive health region has came as a bit of a surprise when the report was released.

Health Minister Jim Reiter accepted all of the recommendations of Panel including the move to one one single Provincial Health Authority and commented in a press release that “One Provincial Health Authority that is focused on better co-ordination of health services across the province will improve the quality of care patients receive,” Reiter said. “It will also reduce administration and duplication across the health system."

The new Authority will have a single Board of Directors, consolidated administrative support, some clinical services such as laboratory and diagnostic imaging, and the planning, dispatch and delivery of EMS.

Meanwhile, the province's largest health care union says they have "concerns" with the decision.

In a news release, CUPE Health Care Council President Gordon Campbell said “Health care restructuring will disrupt the established systems and relationships of providing health care in the province" - and it's "questionable that any cost savings will occur as a result."

No change over date was included in the report but it's anticipated that a move to a single health authority will be planned for the fall.

 

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