The Saskatchewan Party government has been under fire recently regarding its investment in the ‘lean system’ being implemented in the health care system.
Premier Brad Wall has confirmed in the legislature consultants helping the Health Ministry will cost $40 million over four years.
The goal with ‘lean’ is to apply efficiency procedures to health care to make it more effective for patients and save money.
At the regular meeting of the Sunrise Health Region Board March 26, SHR chair Lawrence Chomos said as a Board it is not their place to wade into the debate regarding the cost of lean.
“That is a decision that has been made,” he said, adding that while there is a cost “I do believe it was good to invest (in lean).”
SHR has been working with lean for some time now, and Chomos said he is confident it is setting the system on the right track.
“We know that savings will occur,” he said, but added those savings will always be made after weighing their impact on users. He said lean “is very patient first, and very patient centred.”
Suann Laurent president and CEO of SHR picked up on the patient impact, suggesting ‘lean’ was “a pretty powerful tool.” She said it “cascades right down to patient care.” She also said putting patients first is reflective of everything the SHR focuses on calling it “our true North Star.”
Chomos said lean is paying dividends now, as well, but added perhaps “as a health region and as a province we’re not doing a good enough job of telling the stories.” He said when he sees the progress being made in areas such as surgical wait times, and time in emergency rooms spent by patients “… I burst with pride in how much good is happening,” as a result of lean concept implementations.
“Is the average person aware?” he asked. “No,” he continued.
Chomos said being able to see the progress of lean from the inside he is confident the system is going in the right direction.
“It is the right thing to do,” he said.