Sask. cities make pitches to ministry for new Provincial Health Authority headquarters

Prince Albert, Sask., has now tossed its name into the hat to become the location for the head office of the province’s single health authority.

By this fall, all 12 regional health authorities will cease to exist in favour of one authority for the entire province.

Despite the name, Athabasca Health Authority is not considered a regional health authority. It’s funded both provincially and federally so it will stay the same during the transition.

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    The rest however will be rolled into one and the location of the head office is still up in the air but if Prince Albert’s mayor had his way, it would be located there.

    “You can set up your operations any where in our province because of technology so I think PA is the prime location, we do have government buildings that have space here to house them so we got the infrastructure,” Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said.

    “I think it’s important for the citizens that any time we have a chance to bid on new, good paying jobs that we should be front and centre.”

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    Earlier this year, Moose Jaw advocated to serve as the single superboard’s headquarters. On Tuesday, the minister of health said Saskatoon and Regina will also be considered during the decision making process.

    “What makes sense from a business perspective, it’s about patients so we’re trying to do this without any effect on patients,” Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter said.

    Cost savings isn’t the only reason for the restructuring. Officials said with no regional boundaries in the province – patients should receive seamless service no matter where they go.

    According to the ministry, management as well as support services will still be required across Saskatchewan to support the delivery of high quality health care.

    “Even if they do, I want to make sure that we’re primed and let the government know that we’re open for business and we’re ready to set up their offices here,” Dionne added.

    The final location of the head office, according to Reiter, will be announced before the end of session. Shortly thereafter, the search for a new CEO and board appointments will be undertaken.

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