The Saskatchewan government has accepted the recommendations of an advisory panel and decided to move from 12 health regions to one provincial health authority.
The transition will occur by fall 2017.
Health Minister Jim Reiter said the change will result in better co-ordination of health services.
“This change represents a consolidation of administration, not a centralization of services,” he said. “Our goal is better co-ordination between the health services provided in different areas of the province.”
A single board of directors will govern the new authority, which will include four service integration areas. The panel report said one of those should be unique to the north and the other three should “reflect existing and appropriate care seeking patterns, particularly with respect to acute and specialized care.”
Community advisory networks in the integration areas will advise of local needs.
The panel also recommended consolidation of services such as laboratory and diagnostic imaging, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and co-ordination of tertiary acute care services.
It said the government, within two years of forming the single authority, should review governance of eHealth, Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan (PRAS), and 3sHealth, which looks after services such as procurement and payroll, to ensure efficiency and possible consolidation. Similarly, the panel recommended reviewing governance of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.
The panel included Brenda Abrametz, chair of the Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority, Tyler Bragg, president and CEO of Pinnacle Financial Services and former chair of the Cypress Regional Health Authority, and Dr. Dennis Kendel, former CEO of the PRAS.
More than 300 public submissions and 30 face-to-face consultations informed the panel’s recommendations.