This month saw the Prince Albert Parkland Health District offer the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. In partnership with the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, the program is now fully integrated throughout all 13 health regions in the province.
Colorectal cancer is 90 per cent preventable and easily treated when found in early stages. Since its launch in 2009, more than 132,000 residents have been invited to participate in the screening program with over 47,000 people responding. Proactive health care is one avenue through which Saskatchewan people can enjoy a successful, prosperous life.
The screening program is fully funded by the provincial government, with the annual estimated cost being $3.6 million.
Saskatchewan residents who have a valid Saskatchewan Health Services Card, now have the option to update and submit their health card registration information directly online. The24/7 service provides an easy and streamlined process for residents to more efficiently update their health card information.
• Multiple updates to health card registration information may be made, including:
• Family unit changes due to marriage, divorce/separation, common-law, reconciliation, addition or removal of dependants;
• Report an address change;
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged health card;
• Change of name;
• Correction to health card information;\Submit copies of updated immigration documents;
• Report an extended absence;
• Report a return from an extended absence; and
• Appointment of power of attorney.
The online service guides clients through the process and ensures sufficient information is provided before allowing form submission. After completing the online updates, clients receive electronic status notifications and can also track the processing status electronically. If accurate and complete information is provided, updates are processed immediately or within two business days. To change your health card information and for more details, go to www.health.gov.sk.ca and click on the health card icon.
By making significant investments into key areas of health care, we are putting the patient first by improving the timeliness, efficiency and quality of health care service in Saskatchewan. It is one more way your Saskatchewan Party government is working to grow a province that is the best place in Canada to live, work and raise a family.
• • •
In the coming weeks, I will return to the legislature for the spring session. Shortly thereafter, our government will announce the next budget. Not only will it be balanced, it will further reflect our government’s commitment to ensuring the benefits of growth are used to improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.
Our government’s commitment to balanced budgets is a key component of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. Our record in this area is strong -- we’ve had balanced budgets every year since 2007.
The 2012-2013 third quarter financial report shows that we are on track to do the same thing this year, despite falling resource revenues. Those declines are being offset in large part by the benefits of growth, including a growing tax base thanks to higher employment and record population growth.
The third quarter financial report projects that we will finish the 2012-13 fiscal year with an $8.8 million pre-transfer surplus. That’s down from what was in the budget, mainly due to increases such as:
• $50 million for highway improvements;
• $40 million for the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program; up $110 million in total over budget;
• $47 million for AgriStability, AgriInvest and Crop Insurance;
• $10 million for snow removal and ice control on provincial highways;
• $4 million for increased usage of the Graduate Retention Program.
Not only does the budget continue to be balanced, we are doing this against a backdrop of no increase in government debt and with a healthy balance of more than $660 million in the Growth and Financial Security Fund.
Fiscal responsibility is an important element of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. Without it, achieving the plan’s ambition goals will be even more of a challenge. We must be prudent if we want to grow our province to 1.2 million people by 2020, double our exports and continue to invest in programs and services important to you and your family.
Together we will maintain the Saskatchewan Advantage and continue to move our province forward.
Victoria Jurgens is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote