L to R: Saskatchewan’s Health Minister Everett Hindley, Canada’s Health Minister Mark Holland, Saskatchewan’s Minister pf Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Tim McLeod

Canada’s Health Minister has signed two agreements alongside Saskatchewan’s Health Ministers which means over a half-billion dollars in federal funding to improve health care. Minister Mark Holland says close to $391 over three years will support the Working Together agreement  It’s for improving access to family health services and acute and urgent care.

Saskatchewan’s Health Minister, Everett Hindley, notes that this includes supporting the new family physician payment model, adding a total of 64 acute and chronic care beds in Saskatoon and Regina, supporting the recruitment and retention of workers to reduce the backlogs, and increasing clinical placement to support the expansion of 550 post-secondary training seats.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health, Tim McLeod, says the second agreement is the Aging with Dignity agreement with $170 million in federal funding over five years. He says it will help deliver health care services to seniors as close to home as possible through improved long term and palliative care and enhanced home and community care. “It will support provincial initiatives in such areas as expanding community health centres as physical hubs for inter-disciplinary community health teams. The agreement also means increasing the number of front line care and continuing care providers and improving compliance with long term care standards through inspections and follow-ups.

From the news release:

Working Together agreement

  • Improve access to family health services and acute and urgent care by supporting a Saskatchewan family physician payment model, expanding Saskatoon’s Chronic Pain Clinic, growing the Virtual Triage Physician program (VIBEX) through Healthline 8-1-1, and creating new permanent acute care and complex care beds in Regina and Saskatoon hospitals to reduce overcapacity.
  • Support the health workforce and help reduce backlogs through the recruitment of new health care workers, retention incentives for hard to recruit positions, and increasing clinical placements to support the expansion of 550 post-secondary training seats.
  • Expand the delivery of culturally appropriate mental health and substance use support and specialized care through overdose outreach teams, the continued expansion of Police and Crisis Teams, increasing addiction treatment spaces and rapid grief counselling by Family Services Saskatchewan and supporting youth facing mental health and addiction challenges.
  • Modernize health care systems with health data and digital tools by continuing investments in eHealth and health sector information technology

Living with Dignity agreement

  • Enhance home and community care services through expanding Community Health Centres, outreach services and advancing the Patient Medical Home Model pilot.
  • Improve palliative care by supporting training for health workers in end-of-life care and increasing the number of health professionals to help patients and support palliative care.
  • Strengthen the quality of long-term care and home care services by increasing the number of front line care and continuing care providers and improving compliance with long-term care standards through inspections and follow-ups.

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