News Release - January 25, 2001
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
"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demand for services, rising costs and the need to replace outdated equipment,"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
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
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
For more information, contact:
Phone: (306) 787-4083