Federal, provincial governments pen agreement to up Sask. health care money by $158M over 5 years

The government of Saskatchewan has signed a five-year agreement with the federal government to increase money for health care initiatives in the province.

Mental health and addictions prioritized in plan

Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter and MP Ralph Goodale signed a bilateral agreement on health care money on Monday afternoon in Regina. (CBC)

The government of Saskatchewan has signed a five-year agreement with the federal government to increase money for health care initiatives in the province.

With help from the government of Canada, the province says it will invest more in palliative care, mental health and addiction services.

Community Health Centres will also be established to shift care from hospitals into community settings.

Regina MP Ralph Goodale said that will fill a need in the province.

"With Saskatchewan's population of seniors expected to double over the next 20 years, it is increasingly important for families to have better access to better services for seniors outside of the traditional setting of a hospital," Goodale said.

Provincial Health Minister Jim Reiter said the centres will be part of Saskatchewan's connected care strategy.

"The strategy is to shift emphasis from acute care to community care," Reiter said.

"This will address capacity issues at our hospitals by providing patients with expanded services in home or community settings."

The province also plans to expand online cognitive behavioural therapy services.

About $158 million will be put into the overall plan over the next five years.