Sask. minister heads to national seniors health meeting

CBC News October 2, 2013 - Saskatchewan's Health Minister, Dustin Duncan, wants to discuss seniors' health issues at a meeting with his counterparts from across the country this week.

 The latest federal-provincial health ministers meeting is being held in Toronto.

 Duncan heads there a day after releasing the results of a review of long-term care in Saskatchewan, which uncovered some troubling issues. 

 Duncan said meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts is a good opportunity to learn how others are tackling common problems. For instance, it was at a previous meeting that Duncan heard about a program called "Home First/Quick Response".

 On Tuesday, Duncan boosted the spending for that program; expanding a pilot project already underway in Regina, to Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

 The goal of "Home First/Quick Response" is to keep seniors in their own homes for as long as possible.

 For instance, if a senior living at home has an issue after regular hours.

"They have a catheter and the catheter comes out in the middle of the night,“ said Duncan. “It's an urgent issue for them; but it's not necessarily an emergency”.

 Duncan said helping that person after hours could save a trip to the emergency room.