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Aug 02
Saskatoon Health Region sets 2017-18 operating and capital budgets

Today, the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority Board approved Saskatoon Health Region's 2017-18 operating budget plan of $1.246 billion and capital budget plan of $145.8 million.

The operating budget plan is based on the Region's multi-year strategy to focus on patient driven outcomes within a balanced budget. As part of this strategy, the Region is working  with the Ministry of Health to achieve a balanced budget.

One initiative in progress is the provincial connected care approach that helps better serve the needs of patients, residents and clients wherever they are located, hospitals or communities, while making the wisest use of taxpayer dollars.

The connected acute care model, which redesigns how hospital teams work and communicate to ensure patients and their families are full partners in the care process, is proven to improve the patient experience through outcomes such as a decreased length of stay in hospital. With an emphasis on safer care, the reduced length of stay is based on discharge from hospital when the patient and physician are ready, with needed services in the community in place to support the patient and their family. Within the first 60 days of implementation of its first unit, the Region saw a 19 per cent (2.5 days) reduction in length of patient stay in hospital. Discharge preparations begin as soon as possible after the patient is admitted.

"For patients, a shorter hospital stay, with discharge only at the point of readiness, means they are able to return home sooner, with needed supports, which is where we all want to be. This becomes even more important for seniors who experience functional decline the longer they remain in a hospital bed," said Saskatoon Health Region President and CEO Dan Florizone. "Improving care through reduced length of stay and community supports means more hospital capacity to serve other patients, which equates to less overtime and lower costs. The connected care approach we are implementing in both hospital and in community builds on our strengths, enhances our services, and helps to create seamless, connected care for patients in the right place at the right time. We intend to replicate this groundbreaking, value-enhancing model across the Region," says Florizone.  

The 2017-18 operating budget plan includes funding from the Ministry of Health of $1,159,500,000 or 93 per cent of the Region's budgeted revenue. Of budgeted operating expenses, $863.5 million, or approximately 69 per cent, will be spent on providing services to patients and residents in hospitals and long-term care and $155 million, or approximately 12 per cent, will be spent on community-based care, primary health care, home care, population health as well as mental health and addictions services. The largest line item in the operating budget is comprised of salaries and benefits for both staff and physicians.

The Jim Pattison Children's Hospital will remain a major capital focus for the Region in 2017-18. With the inclusion of estimated hospital construction costs ($81.2 million), parkade repairs and infrastructure projects ($39.9 million), information technology ($11.7 million), capital equipment replacements ($13.0 million) and the completion of multiyear projects, the Region's 2017-18 capital budget plan totals $145.8 million.

Over the last five years the Region has seen a 13 per cent growth in population. With mounting volume pressures, and facing a significant gap between annual revenue and expenses in 2016-17 the Region developed and implemented a financial sustainability plan to achieve savings and finished the fiscal year with a surplus of $4.28 million. The Region realized $23.6 million in savings from its sustainability plan in 2016-17, which was $0.3 million more than initially planned, including nearly a 20 per cent reduction in overtime.

Through careful attention to paid hours, the Region has seen a 0.7 per cent decrease in paid hours (which includes overtime) during the first three months of 2017-18 operations compared to the prior year.

"Providing services within available resources and managing increasing demand will continue to be challenging this year," said Florizone, "but I am encouraged by the financial progress we made in 2016-17, by early 2017-18 fiscal results, and by the success of initiatives already underway."

For more information on the Region's budget, visit our Budget page.

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