From 12 to one

New Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity to launch Dec. 4

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JOSHUA SAN­TOS

The new Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity is set to take over on Mon­day, Dec. 4.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about mov­ing this for­ward and work­ing to­wards con­tin­u­ing to de­liver ex­cel­lent care for the peo­ple we serve in Saskatchewan,” said Suann Lau­rent, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer for the new pro­vin­cial au­thor­ity. “It’s been a lot of hard work and we have a long way to go.”

The 12 ex­ist­ing re­gional health au­thor­i­ties (RHA) that em­ploy ap­prox­i­mately 45,000 peo­ple will be amal­ga­mated un­der one ju­ris­dic­tion.

“Pa­tients won’t see any im­me­di­ate changes as we move to one health re­gion, but grad­u­ally over time, we should be mov­ing to a more co-or­di­nated sys­tem that’s eas­ier for pa­tients to nav­i­gate,” said Kyle Matthies, vice-pres­i­dent of peo­ple and qual­ity for the Five Hills Health Re­gion (FHHR).

“There are no changes to any of our pro­grams, ser­vices, fa­cil­i­ties, or phone num­bers oc­cur­ring at this time.”

Lau­rent reaf­firmed that there would be no ser­vice in­ter­rup­tions to pa­tients across the prov­ince.

“The same re­spon­sive­ness and con­tacts that peo­ple have now will con­tinue. There’s no ser­vice changes in those ar­eas,” said Lau­rent. “Peo­ple would still ac­cess the same hos­pi­tals, the same long-term care ser­vices, home-care ser­vices and phone the same num­bers that they did be­fore. That will con­tinue.”

Matthies also said front-line staff would not change un­der the new au­thor­ity.

“In terms of the im­pact on em­ploy­ees, the se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions in our health re­gion will be af­fected dur­ing this tran­si­tion but our front­line staff will con­tinue their day to day work as usual,” he said.

Saskatchewan is not the first to move to­wards a sin­gle pro­vin­cial sys­tem.

Health of­fi­cials con­tacted rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other pro­vin­cial health au­thor­i­ties as they con­structed their plans.

“We’ve cer­tainly talked to Nova Sco­tia and now Al­berta and other health sys­tems and learned lessons of what to do and what not to do,” said Lau­rent. “We en­gaged peo­ple across the sys­tem in those dis­cus­sions in Saskatchewan and out­side.”

Dec. 4 will only mark the be­gin­ning of the changes, with the whole tran­si­tion ex­pected to be a multi-year process.

“This is just start of it. This is the tran­si­tion and work­ing through the leg­is­la­tion and putting the struc­ture to­gether and some of the process. There’ll be some more of the pro­cesses to work out to get to the fi­nal out­come and that takes time,” Lau­rent said.

Long-term plans in­clude en­sur­ing the qual­ity of ser­vice is ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient.

“Over time cer­tainly we’d look at ways to de­crease vari­a­tion and in­crease qual­ity and safety, but our ser­vices and pro­grams won’t be chang­ing,” Lau­rent said.

FILE

Front-line staff would not lose their jobs when the 12 Re­gional Health Au­thor­i­ties tran­si­tion to the new Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity.

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