Sun Country Health Region is receiving an additional $287,300 during the 2012-13 fiscal year from the Saskatchewan government to improve patient access to surgical care.
"We are very pleased to be able to improve our service to provide patients with better surgical care," said Marga Cugnet, Interim CEO, Sun Country Health Region.
Although the Region will perform slightly fewer surgeries this year, additional funding will be provided for home care and therapies support for pre-operation education and rehabilitation after hospitalization. The funding will also be directed towards support staff and supplies in the operations rooms.
The investment is part of $60.5 million in additional funding for the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, announced in the March 21st provincial budget. The funding will help health regions collectively complete an additional 4,380 surgeries in 2012-13 and support innovations that improve surgical care.
Sun Country Health Region is currently meeting the Surgical Initiative's two year target of having no patients wait more than 12 months for surgery. By 2014, the province's goal is to provide all patients with the option of having surgery within three months.
"Saskatchewan has made it a priority to provide sooner, safer, smarter care that results in shorter wait times and a better surgical experience for patients," said Estevan MLA Doreen Eagles, on behalf of Health Minister Don McMorris. "We appreciate the strong support of Sun Country Health Region in improving access to surgical service and helping us put patients first."
Surgeries are performed in the Weyburn General Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan.
The Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative began in April 2010. Since then, wait times have dropped dramatically. The number of patients waiting over 18 months for surgery has dropped 85 per cent, the number waiting 12 months for surgery has decreased 74 per cent, and the number waiting over six months has dropped 53 per cent. The number of people waiting more than three months is down 39 per cent.