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Electronic health records

$8 million announced for eHealth Saskatchewan

REGINA – Saskatchewan Health Minister Don McMorris (pictured) announced funding of $8 million for the new eHealth Saskatchewan agency, an investment that will support electronic health record developments like those recommended in 2009 by the Patient First Review.

The $8 million is part of a new $133.1 million investment in health infrastructure and access improvements to make the provincial system safer and more secure for patients and health providers.

“Our government continues to follow through on our promise to strengthen our healthcare system,” McMorris said. “Today’s announcement will mean better care and better access to care for Saskatchewan people.”

McMorris also announced that the provincial government will now pay 80 percent of the cost of regional health projects like long-term care facilities, up from the traditional 65 percent share.

“Communities asked for a new funding formula, and we are delivering it,” McMorris said. “An 80-20 split lowers financial barriers to the revitalization of health facilities in towns and cities across Saskatchewan.”

The infrastructure funding announcement includes:

• $49.3 million for design and construction costs of 13 long-term care facility redevelopment projects;

• $24 million for new capital equipment and upgrades;

• $18.7 million for infrastructure maintenance and improvements;

• $8 million for continued development of an electronic health record;

• $5 million for redevelopment planning of Moose Jaw Union Hospital;

• $7.1 million to renovate and repair the Parkridge Centre long-term care home in Saskatoon; and

• $500,000 for CT services in Melfort.

Physician-related funding includes:

• $10.5 million to support physician recruitment and retention; and

• $10 million to support an increased number of physician services.

The $49.3 million for the long-term care construction projects is in addition to planning dollars already allocated as the provincial share of project costs to replace aging facilities. One project is already well underway, and 12 others are expected to go to tender in 2011-12.

The funding allocation will also allow the province’s health facilities to proceed with needed repairs and the installation of equipment and safety systems.

The announcement is in addition to funding announced February 14 to reduce surgical wait times.

Posted March 10, 2011