January 23, 2017

Legislative Report

19 January 2017

Health Funding Agreement Reached with Federal Government

This week we reached a 10-year agreement with the federal government on health care funding.

The deal ensures long-term sustainability of our health system while adding nearly $350 million in new funding to expand mental health services and home care for Saskatchewan people.

Our government is also looking forward to demonstrating over the next year how our 2-for-1 private MRI initiative is good for Saskatchewan patients and the public healthcare system.

Transition to Single Provincial Health Authority Underway

Saskatchewan is in the beginning stages of transitioning to a single Provincial Health Authority, a change that will reduce administration and improve patient care by eliminating health regions.

Along with more efficiencies in the system to improve front-line patient care, consolidating regional health authorities will mean roughly $10-20 million a year in potential savings.

For example:

  • Reducing 12 health care boards to one board will save about $700,000 each year in board governance costs.
  • Approximately $9 million will be saved each year in the consolidation of IT infrastructure.

We will take a thoughtful, planned approach to these changes so that front-line care is improved while we make Saskatchewan's health care system sustainable for the long-term.

Saskatchewan Residents Reminded to Get a Flu Shot

With increased influenza activity expected through the month of March, health officials are reminding residents that it isn’t too late to get a flu shot.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone six months and older, and is especially important for those most at risk of serious illness from influenza.

The publicly-funded (free) flu vaccine is available from many pharmacies across the province, some physician offices, and public health clinics.

For more information on influenza immunization in Saskatchewan visit saskatchewan.ca/flu.

Provincial Parks Preparing for Busy 2017 Camping Season

People are excited to plan their next visit to Saskatchewan Provincial Parks and we look forward to providing them with the high-quality experience they have come to expect. Planning is underway for the 2017 park season and campers can book their sites starting Tuesday, April 4.

The launch will be staggered over a 10-day period, with different parks becoming available for reservations on different days. A queuing system will also be in place to manage the high volume of traffic on the reservation website. The schedule for reservation launch is as follows:

  • April 4: Blackstrap, Pike Lake
  • April 5: Buffalo Pound, Danielson, Douglas
  • April 6: Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine
  • April 7: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake
  • April 8: Crooked Lake, Moose Mountain
  • April 9: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
  • April 10: The Battlefords, Saskatchewan Landing
  • April 11: Meadow Lake
  • April 12: Bronson Forest Recreation Site, Chitek Lake Recreation Site, Lac La Ronge, Makwa Lake
  • April 13: Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills

Additional information on reservations is available at www.saskparks.net/Reserve-a-Site.

Applications for seasonal camping at 20 provincial parks are now available online at www.saskparks.net. The deadline for applications is February 2, 2017. Seasonal campsites are allocated by a lottery system and will be awarded February 6, 2017.

Saskatchewan’s provincial parks continue to grow in popularity, setting a new visitation record of nearly four million visits in 2016. Total funding for the provincial parks system since 2007 is more than $200 million. This funding includes capital expenditures and investment, operational funding, and parks programming, such as new programs like Learn to Camp and Learn to Fish.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Don.

Past Legislative Reports