Government & Policy
Saskatchewan to invest $66 million in equipment
REGINA – Saskatchewan announced that it will invest
most of a $66 million cash infusion from the federal government in new
systems designed to improve the delivery of diagnostic imaging and
It will also invest in systems for staff training, safety and
improvements in morale.
The First Ministers’ meeting, held in Ottawa in September, provided an
additional $66 million to Saskatchewan in 2004-05 and a further $97
million next year. On average, the province will receive an additional
$90 million per year over six years.
“Improving access to quality healthcare services is a key goal of the
10-year plan to strengthen healthcare agreed to by the First Ministers,”
said John Nilson, Saskatchewan’s health minister.
“We are focusing on priority areas to address immediate needs within the
health system, while at the same time providing a basis for improved,
sustainable health delivery in the future.”
Nilson said in the first year of this multi-year agreement,
Saskatchewan’s priority is on one-time purchases that will address
urgent pressures and that will buy immediate improvements in healthcare.
Saskatchewan will begin shopping for:
• New Linear Accelerator ($3M) for the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency’s
Saskatoon Cancer Centre.
• New diagnostic imaging equipment to begin replacement of aging systems
($8.3M). The plan includes the upgrading of the cardiac catheterization
lab in Saskatoon, upgrading of CTs in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince
Albert to improve throughput and operating efficiency, and other
diagnostic imaging equipment based on greatest need.
• Development of Radiology Information System (RIS) ($3.5M). An
investment in radiology information systems is intended to increase
efficiency at larger radiology departments by streamlining the
scheduling of staff, patients and equipment.
• Diagnostic Imaging wait list registry ($1M). The goal is to develop a
new diagnostic imaging wait list registry similar to the surgical wait
• Finalize payment of the new MRI in Regina ($2.4M). This will
fast-track acquisition of the new MRI, which was announced in the
The province also plans investments that are designed to retain
healthcare providers by providing safer, higher quality workplaces,
continuing education and training ($11 million).
• Quality Workplace Initiative ($2M). Funding will be available to
develop initiatives based upon identified needs to improve worker
morale, job satisfaction, turnover rates, absenteeism, illness and
injury rates. It will dedicate resources and build capacity within the
health system to improve staff satisfaction.
• Equipment supporting safer workplaces ($6M). Equipment that assists
caregivers. For example, additional patient lifts for bedside caregivers
and replacing old beds in nursing homes and hospitals with electric beds
to ease the burden of lifting and transferring bed-ridden, heavy-care
residents and patients. This reduces staff injury and lost hours of
• Continuing Education and Training ($1M). Clinical education, program
skills, professional development, mentorship programs, management
training and tools.
Physician Recruitment ($1M). The College of Physicians and Surgeons and
Saskatchewan Health will co-manage an International Medical Graduate (IMG)