War­ren Michel­son

Moose Jaw North

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

The bud­get for Saskatchewan Health Ser­vices is the largest en­tity of the provin­cial bud­get, and as the pop­u­la­tion in­creases there is greater em­pha­sis on pro­vid­ing health ser­vices in our prov­ince.

The 2018-19 Saskatchewan Health Bud­get in­cludes a fo­cus on en­sur­ing health ser­vices are de­liv­ered in new, in­no­va­tive ways, to bet­ter meet the needs of res­i­dents.

This year’s record health bud­get will work to im­prove health care for all Saskatchewan peo­ple.

The tran­si­tion to a sin­gle Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity late last year is al­ready sav­ing $19 mil­lion in ad­min­is­tra­tion costs. Th­ese sav­ings are now be­ing rein­vested in front-line ser­vices to en­hance health care.

This year’s bud­get in­cludes new ini­tia­tives such as Uni­ver­sal HIV Drug Cov­er­age, In­di­vid­u­al­ized Autism Fund­ing, and a Uni­ver­sal New­born Hearing Screen­ing Pro­gram.

Tar­geted fund­ing will also pro­vide Saskatchewan peo­ple with in­creased ac­cess to men­tal health, pal­lia­tive care and com­mu­nity-based pri­mary health care ser­vices.

The 2018-19 bud­get ful­fills our com­mit­ment to vi­sion loss re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices and equip­ment with a $250,000 in­crease to the Cana­dian Na­tional In­sti­tute for the Blind.

More fund­ing will also be provided to the Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity for gen­eral op­er­at­ing costs and ser­vice pres­sures, as well as to pre­pare for the 2018 open­ing of Saskatchewan Hospi­tal North Bat­tle­ford and the 2019 open­ing of the Jim Pat­ti­son Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Saska­toon.

Federal fund­ing of $19.02 mil­lion has been in­cluded to sup­port the provin­cial Con­nected Care strat­egy. This builds on ex­ist­ing provin­cial fund­ing on con­nect­ing teams and pro­vid­ing seam­less care for peo­ple with mul­ti­ple, on­go­ing health care needs with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on care in the com­mu­nity. Ad­di­tion­ally, federal and provin­cial fund­ing of $11.4 mil­lion has been added to im­prove com­mu­nity-based men­tal health ser­vices, in­clud­ing ser­vices and sup­ports for chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies. This brings the to­tal in­vest­ment in men­tal health to over $284 mil­lion in 2018-19.

Saskatchewan’s pub­licly-funded Take Home Nalox­one (THN) pro­gram will also be ex­pand­ing to pro­vide free THN kits to peo­ple who may wit­ness an over­dose, in­clud­ing friends and fam­ily mem­bers of those at risk. Prior to this ex­pan­sion, nearly 600 kits had been dis­trib­uted for free to in­di­vid­u­als at risk of over­dose, and over 1,900 peo­ple re­ceived train­ing on how to ad­min­is­ter them.

The prov­ince spends more than $46 mil­lion an­nu­ally on a wide range of ad­dic­tions ser­vices. An ad­di­tional $400,000 for ad­dic­tions sup­port is part of the 201819 Bud­get in­vest­ment in men­tal health and ad­dic­tions. Please con­tact your lo­cal THN pro­gram to make ar­range­ments for train­ing and to re­ceive a free kit. For a list of sites where THN kits can be provided for free, visit www.pub­li­ca­tions.gov.sk.ca/re­di­rect.cfm?p=85696&i=106365, or for a list of com­mu­nity phar­ma­cies that sell THN kits, visit https://www.skphar­ma­cists.ca/pa­tients/nalox­one. Our gov­ern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to tak­ing the nec­es­sary steps to meet the needs of all Saskatchewan peo­ple, en­sur­ing those most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­nity con­tinue to re­ceive the sup­ports they need.

War­ren Michel­son, MLA

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