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Saskatchewan budget makes promising moves for seniors

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The Government of Saskatchewan has released its 2022-23 budget, entitled ‘Back on Track’.

The budget makes several promising investments to support the health, finances and well-being of older adults, including expanding funding for the high-dose flu shot for seniors–a key recommendation in CanAge’s recent report on adult vaccination in Canada.

“Seniors are well represented in Saskatchewan’s new budget,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. “The expanded funding of the high-dose flu shot for the 95% of people living outside of long-term care is especially promising.” 

Targeted investments in home care and long-term care, including increasing staff levels, as well as support for affordable housing, are also welcome additions to Saskatchewan’s fiscal plan.

Highlights for older adults from the budget include

  1. A $17.0 million increase to support seniors to live safely and comfortably, including a number of important initiatives, among them: $4.8 million for home care services;
  2. $4.1 million to provide high-dose influenza vaccine to adults 65 and older
  3. $1.6 million for operations at the Meadow Lake Northwest Community Lodge
  4. $6.5 million in new funding for an additional 117 continuing care aide positions.
  5. Implement the 2nd year of the 2020 platform commitment to add 300 continuing care aides for long-term care and home care 
  6. $1.5 million increase to support healthcare recruitment initiatives including the development of a settlement and relocation incentive program
  7. $3.5 million for physician recruitment and retention initiatives, particularly targeting family physicians working in rural areas of the province.
  8. $10.8 million for  Emergency Medical Services in rural and remote areas, paramedic & ambulance, and medical first responders
  9. $3.0 million to fulfill the second year of the Government’s three-year commitment to increase benefits to seniors through the Seniors Income Plan (SIP). The investment will help low income seniors with maximum payments increasing by $30 to $330 a month.
  10. $11.5 million for the Saskatchewan Housing Benefit, under the National Housing Strategy, to help people with low incomes better afford housing. 

CanAge would like to see continued investment in vaccine coverage to keep older adults in Saskatchewan healthy and out of hospital. 

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