Health minister fields questions at breakfast social

Cole Carruthers
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Saskatchewan Minister of Health, Dustin Duncan fielding questions
from attendees at a breakfast social held at the Heritage Inn.

Saskatchewan health minister Dustin Duncan was too busy letting Moose Javians know about the status of current and upcoming health projects in the province to enjoy his breakfast.

The Saskatchewan Party organized a meeting with Duncan early Friday morning at the Heritage Inn to let the community know about provincial health initiatives and to field any questions from attendees.

Duncan, of course, spent much of the discussion talking about the new Moose Jaw hospital slated to be begin construction next year and finished in 2015.

Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to start implementing Lean design concepts across its the entire health system.

Information provided by the province described Lean as "a patient-centred approach to identifying and eliminating all non-value-adding activities and reducing waste within an organization.”

It includes a design method involving professionals brainstorming over research sessions to develop and implement an overall blueprint in offering more efficient health care and cost-effective design.

“What is most significant about the people who worked on the 3P process is I think it’s a good representation of all stakeholders and users of the hospital,” Duncan said.

The 3P process Duncan referred to is a three-tier plan involving production, preparation and process, a Lean tool used when a totally new process or design is required. Often used in facility design, the goal is to ensure quality, safety, flow and efficiencies.

Moose Jaw Health Foundation board member Paul Schauerte inquired as to whether the hospital would feature a new MRI unit.

“At this point I can’t make a commitment to that, but we know we need to be looking at options when it comes to diagnostics in this province," Duncan responded. “We’re doing well towards where are benchmarks are with CT scans across the province, but we have some work to do in southern Saskatchewan when in comes to MRIs.”

He said it's something that would have to be looked at further within the context of the health budget and the scope of the health region's services, adding that multiple options need to be considered in southern Saskatchewan because “we’re falling behind in MRIs.”

“The present hospital sits on, I believe, six acres of land, the new hospital is in excess of 30 acres," MLA Warren Michelson reminded attendees regarding future possibilities. “There’s ... going to be room for expansion for a long time into the future.”

For more on this article pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Party, Heritage Inn, Moose Jaw hospital Moose Jaw Health Foundation Times-Herald

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, MRIs, Canada Southern Saskatchewan

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