The wind down of the 12 regional health authorities is underway as the province moves to a single organization.
It is hoped the new Saskatchewan Health Authority will be up and running sometime by the end of the fall.
For the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR), the day-to-day work continued as normal, like signing off on the year’s budget.
But the shadow of the upcoming change looms over.
“They have to make sure that there’s a board and a CEO and the organization is functional enough to take on the responsibility,” Keith Dewar, RQHR CEO, explained. “They first brought in the transition team and now committees have been struck, there’s a quite a bit of work going on. There is a lot of work to be done too.”
The new provincial body will be based out of Saskatoon with smaller units in the major centres. Dewar says that means coordinated changes at both the clinical level and something as simple as payroll.
“Until people understand what it means for them there is uncertainty and concern but they are excited for the opportunities as well,” Dewar said.
Dewar announced Thursday he will not be putting his name forward to lead the Saskatchewan Health Authority for “personal reasons.” He previously had overseen the move to one provincial body in Prince Edward Island.
But until RQHR is no more, Dewar admitted there is still day-to-day work to do. Wait times are anticipated to grow as the demand for service and area population increases.
In 2015-16, the health region posted a $15.2 million deficit.
The RQHR budget this year is $1 billion but with the province funding less, a $17 million deficit is again predicted.