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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Saskatchewan

HEALTH DISTRICTS GET $70 MILLION INJECTION

The province is providing more than $70 million in new funding to help support

health care for Saskatchewan people.



Health Minister Pat Atkinson said today the money will go directly to health

districts to cover their deficits, support health services and to buy new

medical equipment.



"Health districts are facing increasing pressures this year due to growing

demand for services, rising costs and the need to replace outdated equipment,"

Atkinson said. "This new funding will help protect health services and ensure

districts can continue to provide quality care to their residents."



Districts will receive a total of $54 million to help cover operating

deficits. This total is based on the government's mid-year projections. The

funding will come from the province's budget surplus.



"When we asked districts to minimize change during work of the Commission on

Medicare we knew districts would face increased pressure on their budgets.

Currently, 25 of 32 districts are projecting deficits," Atkinson said. "While

we await the changes recommended by the commission, we have decided to fund

these deficits to ensure districts can continue to provide the quality care our

citizens expect."



Districts will also receive a total of $16.5 million for immediate equipment

needs ranging from new hospital beds to diagnostic equipment like ultrasound

and x-ray units and surgical equipment like anaesthesia machines and surgical

lasers.



The $16.5 million is half of Saskatchewan's allotment from the Medical

Equipment Fund. The fund was established by the Government of Canada at the

First Ministers Meeting in September, 2000 to address immediate needs for new

equipment and technology. The remainder of the fund will be allocated

following the Fyke Commission's report.



"This new equipment will provide a number of benefits," Atkinson said. "It

will help to enhance delivery of health care, improve workplace safety for

health providers and improve our ability to recruit and retain health

professionals."



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For more information, contact:



Rikki Bote

Saskatchewan Health

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-4083
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