Regina Health District
and Interim CEO Jim Saunders

Nipawin - March 1, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis

their studies

The Regina Health District has released its new three year plan(1) to save more money in
addition to all the other savings they already made in the past(2). Jim Saunders(3), interim
CEO for the Regina district, is a proud copy cat of Brian Rourke(4), board member of the
Regina district and chairman of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations
(SAHO), and together they continue to accurately predict the financial future of the
Regina's district as they trumpet their studies and news releases down the toilet.




Just listen to this; they go through the study "Evaluation of the System-Wide Admission
and Discharge Department (SWADD)(5)" and guess what? They evaluate a system which
has not been fully implemented yet. The news release reporting this evaluation study says
that the SWADD system helps their clients receive the right services at the right time in
the right place, and as I mentioned in previous articles, this is nothing else but management




The new Regina's three year plan calls for the elimination of 67 nursing positions. The
government and all health districts have acknowledged a nursing shortage in
Saskatchewan and across Canada. At the Regina district, acute beds have been closed
because of shortage of nurses, surgeries have been postponed because of shortage of
nurses, expensive and debilitating overtime of nursing staff is occurring because of
shortage of nurses, New Zealand nurses have been imported as commodities because
of shortage of nurses, a $2,000 bonus is being provided to all graduating registered
nurses (RNs) who agree to work in this district for at least one year because of a
shortage of nurses, and now the Regina district wants to down size the nurses to save




Donna Brunskill, executive director of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association,
is right on when she says
the evidence shows that when you reduce the number of registered nurses --
mortality rates increase, infection rates increase and re-admission rates
increase... When you remove the number of RN's or decrease the percentage
of RN's - you increase the dependence of clients, and it costs more in the long




And we can appreciate the implausible rhetoric of interim CEO Jim Saunders by reading
the news release "Regina Health District Releases Financial Plan(8)." I let you, readers,
measure the size of this Big Brain by providing you with a sample of Saunders' trumpeting
verbosity. He says:


Since the funding for deficits announced in January is one-time
only, we anticipate deficits in the future unless some changes are
made to both increase revenues and reduce operating costs... Our
challenge remains reaching agreement with the government on
predictable levels of adequate and continuing operating funding...
With a combination of reduced operating costs and increased
government funding, we are confident that we can eliminate the
District's operating deficit over a three-year period without
compromising either quality of care or reasonable access to health
services... Likewise, we want to continue to work with the government
to achieve agreement on a multi-year approach to paying down and
eliminating both our operating and capital debt... We have the support
of government to use a strategy of attrition and redeployment to
downsize the number of staff we employ. Any proposed staff changes
will be handled with care and sensitivity... We have critical needs in
many job categories, including nursing and technical staff, and will
continue to recruit vigorously into these positions.




Now we know why we have a health care problem in Saskatchewan and across Canada, don't we?
  List of relevant political and economics articles


The Regina Health District's 3-Year Financial Plan, February 27, 2001




The closure of the Plains Health Centre: The $50 million overrun and the gimmick of saving money in health care, by Mario deSantis, December 19, 1999




Regina Health District closes one surgical theatre: Shortage of Leadership, Shortage of Nurses and Shortage of Democracy, by Mario deSantis, March 22, 2000




Brian Rourke wants more healthcare money: 40% of public expenditures are not enough, by Mario deSantis, November 14, 1999




Evaluation of the System-Wide Admission and Discharge Department (SWADD),




The Reluctance to Change of Our Leadership, by Mario deSantis, November 28, 2000




Nurse cuts under attack, CBC Saskatchewan, February 27, 2001




Regina Health District Releases Financial Plan (February 27, 2001)