The closure of the Plains Health Centre:

The $50 million overrun and the gimmick of savings money in health care

By Mario deSantis, December 19, 1999

  Our Minister of Health, Pat Atkinson, was hypocritical when she said that her bureaucracy was too
  busy to listen to health care workers for some eight years(1). To day, her hypocritical behaviour has
  not changed and this is a bad sign for all the people of Saskatchewan. Responding to the Provincial
  Auditor's charges(2) that the government misled the public with "inadequate and confusing"
  information regarding the $50 million over budget for the closure of the Plains Health Centre,
  Atkinson said that the $50 million overrun was well worth it and that "...Nothing has been hidden,
  There's no smoking gun, No one has run with the money..." Regina Health District officials have
  also supported the $50 million overrun by stating that in turn they expect to achieve a $10 million
  savings in their annual operating cost; in the meantime, the Regina Health District has posted an
  illegal operating deficit of $22.5 million(3).
  You are really right Honourable Atkinson, nothing has been hidden, in fact the bats are still visible
  and polluting the premises of the Regina General Hospital; and no one has run away with the $50
  million overrun, in fact there has been absolutely no legal wrongdoing on the part of either the
  government or the Regina Health District. And as the $10 million savings are concerned, they are
  expected to materialize in the future in the same way the SHIN is expected to save a minimum of $58
  million per year(4), and health care SAP payroll is expected to save $3.8 million per year(5).
  Honourable Atkinson, you are a pathological hypocrite and we will be waiting for your next health
  care savings arising from the legal implementation of further restructuring in health care(6).


MINISTER APPEALS TO NURSES, The following letter from Health Minister Pat Atkinson was delivered to Saskatchewan Union of Nurses President Rosalee Longmoore, Apr 12, 1999


Atkinson defends $50-million closure costs: Regina's hospital consolidation way over budget, auditor reports, by Mark Wyatt, The StarPhoenix, December 15, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Gov't to blame: Bartlett. Regina Health District head quit over underfunding, by Anne Kyle, The Leader-Post, Regina, Saskatchewan, Nov 12/99


What Happened to the Saskatchewan Health Information Network (SHIN)?, by Mario deSantis, June 10, 1999


SAHO Payroll Policies: Saving Money out of Ongoing Catastrophes, by Mario deSantis, February 9, 1999


Study aims to shed light on Sask. Health care, by Gerry Klein, The StarPhoenix, December 9, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan