New legislation introduced today will improve frontline patient care by removing arbitrary health region boundaries and create a single Provincial Health Authority.
“One Provincial Health Authority that is focused on better coordination of health services across the province will help to ensure patients receive high-quality, timely health care, regardless of where they live in Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.
The Provincial Health Authority Act will enable the transition of the existing 12 Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) to a single Provincial Health Authority, and will:
remove arbitrary geographical areas of responsibility (RHA boundaries);
provide oversight of compensation levels to the contracts of the CEO and those that report to the CEO;
allow for the creation and continuation of Community Advisory Networks to ensure community needs and interests are identified and advanced;
ensure donations raised by local foundations continue to be used for the local health services or facilities they were raised for;
establish the specific roles and responsibilities of the Minister and Provincial Health Authority; and
repeal The Regional Health Services Act.
The legislation does not outline the structure or composition of the Provincial Health Authority and integrated service areas, or the composition of the board. This will be considered as part of ongoing transition planning.
“Having a strong connection to rural Saskatchewan, I know how important health care is to communities across this province,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said. “Our government is committed to ensuring that the local voice continues to be heard within the new health system structure.”
The full implementation of recommendations made by the Advisory Panel on Health System Structure will be phased over time. Many transformational initiatives recommended by the Advisory Panel will take more time to fully implement, including the re-design of clinical services like laboratory and diagnostic imaging, acute care services, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Following passage of the new Act and the establishment of bylaws and regulations, the new Provincial Health Authority will come into force upon proclamation, which is still anticipated in fall 2017.
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