(24 April 2013)
Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative (SKSI)
Economic growth is not a means unto itself. If you don’t do something with that growth, then it might as well have never happened. This is why our government continues to keep its commitment to ensure we use our province’s growth to improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. To that end, we were humbled to announce this week that the wait list for programming for people with intellectual disabilities had been eliminated.
In 2008, we inherited a 440 person waitlist for specialized, residential and/or day programs to provide needed service for those with intellectual disabilities. That year, we committed to providing programming to everyone on that list and we have kept that promise. This was accomplished through the good work of the Community Living Waitlist Initiative, which represents the largest investment - $62.5 million - in Saskatchewan’s history in support of people with intellectual disabilities. The funding allowed for new, expanded or existing services in 41 communities and 500 new staff positions in community-based organizations. One of our government’s goals is to make Saskatchewan the best place for people with disabilities to live in Canada. Through the expansion of this specialized programming we are now closer than ever.
Another way we’re using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for you and your family is through our ongoing commitment to reduce surgical wait times. Waiting in pain for surgery for months or years was not acceptable. After announcing a $10 million funding increase for the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative (SKSI) in this year’s budget, surgical wait times continue to improve. Right now, 90 per cent of people are receiving surgery within six months and 78 per cent of people within three months. There’s still more work to do, but we are on the right track. Our government made it a priority to put the patient first and improve surgical wait times and, we will continue to work towards that goal. To find out more information about wait times, go to the newly re-designed Surgical Initiative at www.sasksurgery.ca.
We are also using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for people battling cancer by increasing funding for the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA). This $12 million funding increase brings the SCA’s total budget to $150.7 million. This important agency provides front line care, services and information to those diagnosed with cancer. This increase of funding will allow for:
- Improved access to early detection through programs like the Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer which was extended province-wide in February;
- Shorter waits for patients needing chemotherapy, radiation therapy and mammograms;
- Expansion of an integrated hematology program providing in-province service for patients needing stem cell transplants, reducing the need to send patients to other provinces;
- Meet the rising demand for diagnostic and treatment services, especially cancer drugs; and
- Recruitment and retention of oncologists and other care providers.
With warmer weather on its way, spring runoff potential in much of the province is well above normal for this time of year, and may result in flooding situations. The Ministry of Government Relations continues to work with other government ministries, agencies, Crown corporations and stakeholders to prepare as much as possible.
To date, the Water Security Agency has received 207 applications for the Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program. Staff and consultants are assisting the applicants. The Ministry of Government Relations has also met with First Nations leaders from the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council and has agreed to monitor and work together on the flood response. The Highway Hotline will continue to be staffed on a 24 hour basis until the threat of flooding subsides. For more Information about flood preparedness and keeping you and your family safe, go to www.gov.sk.ca/flood.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Nadine.
Past Legislative Reports