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Saskatchewan Health Authority board approves $4.6B budget for 2022-23

The Saskatchewan Health Authority 2022-23 budget is allocating $21.6 million to increase surgical volumes and $12.5 million to expand provincial ICU beds among other funding. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) board passed a $4.6 billion budget on Friday for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

The board also passed a capital expenditure plan of more than $138.7 million.

Read more: Western premiers call on Ottawa to discuss health-care dollars

This comes after the Saskatchewan government allocated a historic $4.242 billion for the SHA in the province’s 2022-23 budget.

SHA board chair Arlene Wiks said the SHA is committed to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“For the 2022-23 fiscal year, our focus will be to resume project work and re-establish the overall momentum on strategic initiatives,” Wiks said in a release.

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“It is critical our budget invests in key priorities that strengthen services for Saskatchewan residents and guide the advancement of essential health system priorities.”

Some of the funding highlights in the SHAs budget include:

  • $21.6 million: increase surgical volumes;
  • $12.5 million: expand provincial intensive care unit (ICU) beds;
  • $10.8 million: stabilize Emergency Medical Services (EMS);
  • $7.2 million: stabilize rural emergency hubs and physician coverage;
  • $7.0 million: enhance mental health and addictions programming;
  • $6.5 million: hire additional Continuing Care Aides in long-term care (LTC) and home care;
  • $4.8 million: enhance home care;
  • $4.5 million: address diagnostic imaging wait times; and
  • $3.0 million: increase high acuity unit positions in Regina.

CEO Andrew Will said due to the impact of the pandemic, the SHA is “eager to enhance accessibility and timeliness of key services.”

“These include enhanced access to vital core services like mental health and addictions supports, reducing surgical wait times and stabilizing rural and remote services, strengthening our ability to provide timely high quality care as close to home as possible,” Will said in a release.

Read more: Understaffing at Prince Albert mental health centre putting youth at risk: Sask. doctor

The SHA said capital expenditures within this year’s plan will continue to focus on infrastructure, equipment and information technology investments from the previous year.

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This will include allocating funds towards redeveloping Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert and building the new hospital in Weyburn.

It also includes pre-construction planning for new and replacement long-term care facilities in Estevan, Grenfell, Regina, Watson and the Regional Health Centre in Yorkton.

“These strategic infrastructure investments, combined with targeted investments in key services, will allow us to address some of the local pressures on our health system and strengthen our overall ability to provide seamless care to Saskatchewan residents as close to home as possible,” Will stated in the release.

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