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Saskatchewan Reports on Patient First Review Progress

Released on June 10, 2015

Saskatchewan has made significant progress addressing patient feedback stemming from its ground-breaking 2009 Patient First Review.  A Patient First Review Update report released today outlines progress and successes, and identifies new health care delivery approaches under consideration by the provincial government.

“We are firmly committed to a health system that puts our patients first, and we’ll continue to ask for their input and learn from their experiences,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “Much more work is ahead, but a solid foundation is in place to achieve exceptional patient- and family-centred care across our health system.”

Successes resulting from Patient First Review recommendations include dramatically reduced surgical wait times and primary health care innovations that are revitalizing health services in rural communities.  The focus is now on reducing emergency department waits, improving care for seniors and improving services for people struggling with mental health and addictions.

Duncan noted that Saskatchewan’s rapid growth makes it even more important to seek new ways to provide accessible and efficient health services.  The report outlines options under consideration to improve patients’ access to health care, such as the recent legislation introduced to pave the way for patients to choose to directly pay a private facility for an MRI scan in Saskatchewan.

Other approaches under consideration include a credit system for people who want more choices outside of the province for select services not available in Saskatchewan, and activity-based funding for health facilities.

"I applaud all the health care professionals who embraced the Patient First principles in their respective health care facilities for the sake of improving the delivery of accessible, quality care to the people of Saskatchewan," Patient First Review Commissioner Tony Dagnone said.  "The ambitious targeted surgical wait time reductions to significantly improve access for Saskatchewan citizens is unprecedented across Canada.  An ongoing resolve from all care providers will enhance Saskatchewan's leadership in practising the guiding principles of Patient First."

“I want to sincerely thank all those who have played a role in the improvements that are putting our patients first,” Duncan said.  “Many of these positive changes – notably those in surgical care - would not have been possible without the application of Lean quality improvement processes.  Lean will continue to be the foundation for ongoing improvement work, as we strive to involve patients, families, staff and providers in building an exceptional health care system."

Both the Patient First Review Update report and the original Patient First Review are posted at


For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Phone: 306-787-4083
Cell: 306-537-3594

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