(5 March 2015)
The purpose of building and maintaining a strong and growing economy is to ensure the best possible quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. This includes better health care. Over the last seven years, our government has increased investments in health care by 45 per cent. We have invested in important infrastructure like new hospitals and long-term care facilities while working diligently to reduce wait times and attract and retain medical professionals.
Six years ago, the government proceeded with the first ever review of the Saskatchewan health care system from the perspective of patients. Since that time, The Patient First Review has guided our efforts to make the health care system more responsive, efficient and effective. In that regard, we’ve made great progress, understanding that there remains more to do.
Lean is one example of a patient-focused approach that identifies and eliminates activities that do not add value. It empowers employees to generate and implement innovative solutions to problems and has improved the quality and timeliness of services provided to patients.
Since 2008, Lean processes have also resulted in $125 million in projected financial benefits. This is possible through one-time savings, capacity increases, productivity gains and avoided future costs. Although the investment in Lean has already paid for itself, the true benefit of this quality improvement work is how it is making healthcare better on a daily basis for Saskatchewan patients and their families.
There are numerous examples of how quality improvement work puts patients first, including:
- Improved co-ordination of follow-up care that ensures all fragile infants, who are at risk for respiratory complications, receive crucial follow-up antibiotic injections. Previously, 24 per cent of these infants missed their injections.
- Paramedics in Regina Qu’appelle removed duplicate supplies and reorganized ambulances, reducing the amount of time it takes to prepare an ambulance by 90 per cent.
Lean is delivering meaningful results as we work to put the patient first in health care. And Saskatchewan has only begun to tap into its huge potential. Information on Lean activities in Saskatchewan’s health system is available at http://blog.hqc.sk.ca/.
In response to a Letter to the Editor article in the Carnduff Gazette of February 13, 2015, I would like to correct Mr. Victor Lau’s statements concerning Oxbow healthcare long-term beds. The Saskatchewan Government has never indicated an expansion of 18 more long-term care beds for Oxbow. Oxbow currently has 12 long-term care beds and 2 respite beds for a total of 14 beds. The Sun Country Health District is currently above the provincial average for beds. The Provincial average is 112.7 beds per 1,000 people and Sun Country Health has 146.6 beds per 1,000 people over 75 years of age.
There was no promise made and no promises were broken concerning Oxbow’s long-term care. The Saskatchewan Party Government has or is building 13 new long-term care facilities across the province. A new facility was built and opened last year in Redvers. The new health facility in Kipling will hold its grand opening on March 13th, 2015. While hiring doctors and nurses is still a struggle at times, we are opening new facilities, not closing them.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact my constituency office at 1-877-326-3652 (1-877-DAN-DMLA) or 306-443-2420.
Past Legislative Reports