The government of Canada and Saskatchewan have put pen to paper.
Following Monday’s sitting of the Legislature, the province’s Minister of Health Jim Reiter and Federal Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale signed the Canada and Saskatchewan Funding and Reporting Agreement.
The agreement is worth $349 million over 10 years, while the first half of the agreement is worth $158 million over five years. It will see about $190 million invested in home and community care and close to $158.5 million put towards mental health and addictions.
Goodale, who was signing in place of Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said as it regards to community care, that money will be extremely important in offering seniors care better and more affordable care.
“The seniors population is expected to double over the next 20 years,” said Goodale. “That will mean increasing demand for care and services for seniors. If that care has to provided in a hospital setting, it’s very expensive.”
Reiter also spoke on this issues, saying streamlining care could be a key to reducing wait times.
“If we can nip problems in the bud, if people can get appropriate care at the right time ahead of time, it prevents those emergency services from being needed.”
Goodale also touched on the agreement’s approach to mental health and addictions.
He said the way the agreement is structured, there’s room for innovation, which could see homegrown solutions and programs developed to aid those who have mental health issues.
“We want to assist in making sure that physicians, pediatricians and doctors treating young people, in particular, are well trained in treating mental health and addictions,” he said. “We can combat those needs for people very early in life and try to be more effective in heading off the tragedy of suicide.”
“That is why this agreement has a particular focus on mental health services and addictions services aimed at young people.”