Beland says Saskatchewan will need to ensure they have the right people leading the health board, and appointing the wrong CEO could cause negative political consequences. He cites another Alberta example, when CEO Stephen Duckett stepped down from his role in November of 2010. Four days before his resignation, he told journalists he wouldn’t speak to them because he was eating a cookie, which Beland says painted a negative picture on both Duckett and the government who hired him.
Beland believes while the province’s fiscal situation isn’t the main factor behind the transition, he says the government wants to show they are saving money. But he cautions that trying to establish a single provincial health authority by the fall “may further exacerbate the risk they are taking”.
Beland says the province may save some money and improve coordination by consolidating the health regions, but people in rural and remote communities may feel they don’t have a say in health care decisions.