Res #: 18-03A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Health
WHEREAS, First Responders have become a necessary and very integral part of the health care system in Saskatchewan; and
WHEREAS, the costs of equipment required by First Responders as well as other costs to adequately discharge their duties continue to rise; and
WHEREAS, the commitment of First Responders personnel to their duties should not include the necessity to raise funds; and
WHEREAS, by legislation, health care funding requirements are most properly assumed by senior governments; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM demand the Provincial Government to provide adequate funds to support the requirements of the Saskatchewan First Responders organization to discharge their necessary duties.
Response from the Honourable John T. Nilson, Q.C.:
We value the contribution of First Responders to the health care system in Saskatchewan. Funding that is provided to the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) through the Emergency Services Enhancement Fund can be directed to supporting First Responder groups in the health regions. We encourage the RHAs to reimburse volunteers for their costs upon successful completion of the First Responder Program and agreement from the volunteer to provide this service. I understand that the costs for continuing education training are generally supported by the RHAs.
Saskatchewan Health also provides direct financial support to the RHAs with First Responders continuing education through financial support of conferences, such as the First Responder continuing education weekend, recently held in Moose Jaw. Our top priority is improving the quality of health services and access to care, while ensuring our health system is sustainable into the future. You may be interested to know that this year's Health budget totals $2.53 billion, an increase of $184 million or eight per cent over 2002.