(24 February 2011)
Improved Funding Formula
for the Design and Redevelopment
of Health Care Facilities
Several municipalities have been raising concerns over the funding formula for health care facilities put in place by the former government. Our government heard loud and clear that the current formula of 35 per cent local funding and 65 per cent provincial was a financial burden for communities. We have responded by reducing the local share to 20 per cent. This will save municipalities millions of dollars which can then be used to address infrastructure and other needs.
The new funding formula for the development of regional health projects was one part of the recent announcement of $133 million to make the health care system safer and more secure for patients and health providers. This funding also includes $49.5 million for the design and re-development of 13 long-term care facility redevelopment projects. Under the NDP, these facilities fell into a state of disrepair which our government is taking action to correct. A further $10.5 million will help support physician recruitment, retention and reimbursement – to keep doctors here in Saskatchewan and to better meet patients' needs. This funding also includes $24 million for new equipment and upgrades and more than $18 million so that health regions can address pressing maintenance, repairs and safety equipment needs. There’s $500,000 for CT scan services in Melfort, $8 million to continue development of an electronic health record, and $5 million for redevelopment planning of Moose Jaw Union Hospital.
For over two decades, Saskatchewan’s health care infrastructure has been decaying due to neglect and under-funding by the former NDP government. Our strong economy and stronger-than-expected provincial revenues gives us an opportunity to meet some critical needs this year. That is why our government is continuing to invest in improving health care facilities, repairing these hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities for the benefit of patients using them and the people who work there.
New Flood Prevention Initiative
Farm families and home owners were devastated by last year’s historic flooding. With the large amount of snow on the ground and in dugouts this year, flooding will likely be a challenge again this spring. This week, our government announced the details of a $22 million flood prevention program.
Feed and Forage Program Enhancements
Last year’s flooding also created a feed shortage for some livestock producers. Recently, our government announced a joint AgriRecovery initiative with the federal government that will work with the existing Saskatchewan Feed and Forage Program (SFFP) to provide up to $30 per ton to help producers affected by excess moisture purchase feed. Assistance is also available to those producers who have to transport feed to their livestock or transport livestock to alternative locations for feeding or grazing due to feed shortages caused by excess moisture. The SFFP also provides $30 per eligible acre to producers to reseed hay, forage or pasture land that has been damaged by excess moisture. All Saskatchewan livestock producers affected by excess moisture are eligible to apply for the SFFP. The record rainfall in 2010 created challenges for many livestock producers and this support is intended to help them access additional feed for their animals.
For more information on the SFFP, or to complete an application form, producers can contact a local Ministry of Agriculture or Crop Insurance office, visit the Ministry of Agriculture website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the SFFP toll-free line at 1-877-874-5365. Application forms are also available at local RM offices.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.
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