Canada is set to invest more than C$560m ($413m) into Saskatchewan, to enhance healthcare services throughout the province. 

In this regard, the Canadian and Saskatchewan governments sealed two bilateral agreements. 

Under the first agreement, the Working Together Agreement, the province will receive C$391m to support a three-year action plan focused on enhancing the province’s healthcare system, including family health services and acute/urgent care. 

It will support a new payment model for family physicians, establish permanent acute and complex care beds in Regina and Saskatoon hospitals, and expand the province’s Chronic Pain Clinic and Virtual Triage Physician programme through Healthline 8-1-1. 

Efforts to support the health workforce are also integral to the plan, with strategies to hire new healthcare workers, offer retention incentives for challenging positions, and increase clinical placements to expand 550 post-secondary training seats. 

The modernisation of healthcare systems is another key aspect, with continued investments in eHealth and information technology in the health sector.  

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Besides, the plan includes expanding mental health and substance use support, specialised care with the help of overdose outreach teams, rapid grief counselling services and expansion of Police and Crisis Teams. 

The second agreement, the Aging with Dignity agreement, will see the Canadian government provide around C$169.3m to support a five-year action plan, which aims to enable residents to age with dignity, closer to their homes. 

This plan will focus on improving home and community care services through expanding Community Health Centres, outreach services and the Patient Medical Home Model pilot. 

It also includes improvements to palliative care through training for health workers and increasing the number of professionals in this field. 

Additionally, the plan will improve long-term care and home care services by increasing the number of frontline care providers and ensuring compliance with long-term care standards through inspections and follow-ups. 

Canada Health Minister Mark Holland said: “By working with the province of Saskatchewan, these agreements will reduce wait times, make it easier to see a doctor and ensure our seniors can age with dignity. Tailored to Saskatchewan’s unique needs, this funding focuses on what matters most: better health care for the people of Saskatchewan.”