Legislation was introduced Tuesday to move towards a single provincial health authority.
The province said the move is designed to improve frontline patient care by removing arbitrary health region boundaries.
“One Provincial Health Authority that is focused on better coordination of health services across the province will help to ensure patients receive high-quality, timely health care, regardless of where they live in Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a news release.
The Provincial Health Authority Act enabled the transition of the existing 12 regional health authorities.
The province said the act will:
- Remove arbitrary geographical areas of responsibility (RHA boundaries)
- Provide oversight of compensation levels to the contracts of the CEO and those that report to the CEO
- Allow for the creation and continuation of Community Advisory Networks to ensure community needs and interests are identified and advanced
- Ensure donations raised by local foundations continue to be used for the local health services or facilities they were raised for
- Establish the specific roles and responsibilities of the Minister and Provincial Health Authority
- Repeal the Regional Health Services Act.
The legislation did not outline the structure or composition of the singular health authority and integrated service areas or the composition of the board.
“Having a strong connection to rural Saskatchewan, I know how important health care is to communities across this province,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said in a release. “Our government is committed to ensuring that the local voice continues to be heard within the new health system structure.”
The changes will be phased in over time.
The move to a single body is expected to take place in the fall of 2017.