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Saskatchewan to build new children’s hospital

Saskatchewan’s latest provincial budget includes $200 million over two years for a new Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, which is part of the government’s plan to improve healthcare and build a better future for Saskatchewan families.

The Government of Saskatchewan introduced a $4.075 billion health budget that will maintain health services for Saskatchewan residents and allow strategic investments to improve the health of Saskatchewan people. This is an increase of $329.9 million or 8.8 percent from the previous fiscal year.

“We are committed to putting the patient “first” in healthcare. A Children’s Hospital will improve care and create an environment that will improve the patient experience,” Health Minister Don McMorris said. “By providing $200 million to this project over the next two years we are ensuring it will best meet the needs of Saskatchewan families.”

This funding is on top of the $152.8 million to build 13 new long-term care facilities to replace 13 outdated facilities throughout Saskatchewan that the Ministry announced in February.

The largest portion of the government’s investment in health - 71 per cent of the 2009-10 budget - goes toward paying healthcare providers. Regional health authorities, which provide most of the health services in Saskatchewan, will receive $2.4 billion, an increase of $281 million or 13 per cent over the last fiscal year.

The 2009-10 budget continues significant investments in recruiting and retaining healthcare providers, infrastructure, drug coverage and including a significant increase to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for cancer drugs.

“Our government has many initiatives to help recruit, retain, and train health providers in Saskatchewan,” McMorris said. “We will continue to build on these initiatives and develop others including the development of a Physician Recruitment Strategy.”

Additional new investments will support the development of a provincial Mental Health Strategy, work on tobacco reduction initiatives, enhanced infection control activities, a First Nations health and well being plan, an enhanced Métis partnership on health, and support and services to individuals and their families with Alzheimer’s Disease.