July 25, 2016
Prairie North Regional Health Authority's 2016-17 budget aims to continue its progress toward the health system's five-year outcome of ‘bending the cost curve by achieving a balanced or surplus budget', while focusing on the priorities of seniors care, primary health care, mental health and addictions services, and acute care.
PNRHA Board members today approved a balanced operating budget of $286.3 million: an increase of $8 million over the previous year's operating budget. The additional dollars represent an increase in base funding from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and are targeted solely to collective agreement obligations, physician fee increases, and inflation.
“This means our 2016-17 operating budget is basically status quo from the previous year,” said Bonnie O'Grady, PNRHA Board chairperson. “Our fiscal environment remains challenging. We continue our focus on improving efficiencies to ensure long-term sustainability, while maintaining our emphasis on continuous safety and quality improvement to ensure appropriate access to and delivery of patient- and family-centred care,” she stated.
For the fourth consecutive year, Prairie North RHA is sustaining its commitment toward enhancing care and service to seniors. Front-line staffing is being expanded in 2016-17 at eight of the Region's 12 long-term care facilities. The dollars come from PNRHA's $448,000 share of the government's direction to the provincial health system to reduce administrative spending by $7.5 million.
Through its own initiative and with support from Saskatchewan and Alberta, Prairie North increased staffing for long-term care and Home Care in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.
“In 2013-14, the Board directed that $500,000 be targeted to long-term care enhancements,” explained O'Grady. “In 2014-15, the provincial Urgent Issues Action Fund provided over $500,000 for further improvements to long-term care staffing and facilities. Funding came from the governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta to launch the Home First/Quick Response program in Lloydminster in 2014-15. In 2015-16, the new Alberta-funded Lloydminster Continuing Care Centre opened and Lloydminster Home Care completed its first full year of operation of the Home First program. New funding was provided by Saskatchewan to launch Home First in The Battlefords. The Region also continued its upgrade of nurse call/patient safety systems in several facilities.”
In 2016-17, Home Care services for Battlefords and area residents will see its first full-year of operation of the Home First/Quick Response program. Patient safety system upgrades are also continuing at several facilities.
O'Grady reiterated, “Prairie North remains strongly committed to improving care for seniors.”
In acute care, the dialysis unit and service at Battlefords Union Hospital (BUH) are being relocated and expanded within the hospital. The operating budget contains an additional $384,000 to support expansion of the service from six chairs to nine, increasing the number of patients served by 50%, to 36 patients per week.
Funds are being reallocated internally to enhance respiratory therapy services at Battlefords Union and Lloydminster Hospitals. Regional pathology services are being expanded to facilitate repatriation of the work from Lloydminster and Meadow Lake Hospitals to Prairie North, resulting in reduced costs. The pathology work from the two facilities was previously referred out of the Region.
The PNRHA Board also approved capital expenditures of $2.9 million on renovations and upgrades to its facilities, including patient/staff safety and security systems; $4.4 million on new and replacement equipment; and $482,675 on information technology (IT) infrastructure.
- Completion of the new and expanded BUH Dialysis Unit
- Replacement of the bulk oxygen tank and secondary water main line at BUH
- Fire panel replacement at Lady Minto Health Care Center in Edam and at River Heights Lodge in North Battleford
- Fire sprinkler replacement at Northland Pioneers Lodge in Meadow Lake, and Riverside Health Complex in Turtleford
- Replacement of back-up generators at St. Walburg Health Complex and Lloydminster Hospital
- Replacement of the heating and air conditioning unit and the water main line at River Heights Lodge
- Roof replacement at the Meadow Lake Primary Health Clinic
- Replacement of the nurse call system at Jubilee Home, Lloydminster
- Purchase of a new ambulance for Meadow Lake
A high-level summary of the PNRHA 2016-17 Budget is available here.
For a print-friendly version of the news release, click here.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer 306-446-6625