The province is looking at the idea of amalgamating health regions, and has announced appointing a special commissioner to look at options.
But a University of Saskatchewan Professor has concerns about this concept.
The Associate Director of the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, Tom McIntosh, explains 32 health districts were created, which were then transformed to 12 health regions, getting rid of all the regional institutional boards.
McIntosh doesn’t think amalgamating into one large region like Alberta has done is a good idea.
He says saving money on administration is just a drop in the bucket, because the real costs are the delivery of health care and the drugs.
Also, having a single board means no local accountability.
McIntosh says one board would be a mistake, but there could be an argument for fewer than 12, however only if that goes hand-in-hand with real changes to health care delivery.
Cutting out bureaucrats is a popular thing to say, but not a large part of any health system savings.
He believes a large amalgamation would cause much anxiety but without the benefit.
McIntosh can’t say whether or not expanding private MRI service to other diagnostics will save any money.
He says it’s too early to tell, and there is no information yet as to whether it has any impact on wait times, declaring any expansion would be premature.