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The board of the Saskatoon Health Region has approved a fund-raising plan to ask patients for donations. (Ryan Pilon/CBC)

People receiving care in Saskatoon's hospitals will also be receiving requests in the mail for donations, according to a decision by the region's board.

Board members met Tuesday to approve a revamped Grateful Patient Direct Mail Program, to begin operations in March with the first letters expected in the fall.

The region said letters will be sent from the health region, instead of a fundraising organization.

As well, patients will have an opportunity to opt out of the program.

Gary Dickson, Saskatchewan's Privacy Commissioner, has said an opt-in provision would be better.

The best practice, Dickson said in a report released in 2010, "would be to obtain the express consent of the patient in advance of the disclosure".

Bruce Acton, the CEO of the St. Paul's Hospital Foundation, said people should not worry about private information being seen by fundraisers.

"We have such a good system in place here that privacy should be the least of people's concerns," Acton said.

With files from CBC's Ryan Pilon