By the numbers: The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s annual report

By the numbers: The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s annual report

By the numbers: The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s annual report

The authority’s expenses and revenues were both hundreds of millions above what was expected, largely because of the pandemic.

Author of the article:

Zak Vescera

Publishing date:

Jul 30, 2020  •   •  3 minute read

SASKATOON,SK--SEPTEMBER 13/2019-Saskatoon Aerials- Aerial view of Saskatoon, SK on Friday, September 13, 2019. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix/Liam Richards)  City Hospital  Nutrien Playland  PotashCorp Playland
The Saskatchewan Health Authority went hundreds of millions over budget, but finished the year in the black thanks to extra COVID-19 cash. Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Article content

This week, the Saskatchewan Health Authority released its annual report, a detailed account of how it managed its $4.1 billion budget in the last fiscal year.

The authority’s books reveal a significant uptick and costs, and a lot more revenue, both driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how the numbers shake out.


$4.316 billion in expenses

The authority’s expenses came a staggering $214 million over budget last year, likely due to extra costs associated with the pandemic.

$4.38 billion in revenues

Those extra costs were balanced out by extra funding. The SHA received $4.38 billion last fiscal year, more than $225.8 million over what it budgeted. Most came from the Ministry of Health, which gave it a one-time grant of $87.7 million, as well as extra funding for COVID-19, mental health and addictions and connected care services.

$65.49 million

This is the SHA’s surplus at the end of the fiscal year, compared to the $28.7 million deficit it reported the year before.

$217 million

The amount the SHA spent on capital investments in the past fiscal year. Highlights were the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital and the Administrative Information Management System,a $166.5 million IT restructuring that was originally set to take place over the next 10 years. It’s been put on hold by the pandemic.


70.4 per cent 

The share of SHA expenses that went toward salaries and other compensation for employees.

39.4 per cent 

In terms of actual services, this is how much went toward inpatient and residential care.

$215.6 million

The amount the SHA gave to affiliate organizations. The vast majority are nursing and special care homes; the biggest recipient was Sherbrooke Community Society Inc. in Saskatoon, which received $25.217 million.

$98.6 million

The amount the SHA gave to prescribed health care organizations like ambulance services, as well as partners like Saskatoon Crisis Intervention and the Canadian Mental Health Association.


The amount the authority’s 10-person board received in compensation last fiscal year. The biggest line item was the $282,500 in retainers given to board members that ranged from $25,000 to $43,500. The second-biggest expense was per diems, which totalled $38,625.



This is SHA CEO Scott Livingstone’s salary. Livingstone, the highest-paid member of the senior management team, also received around $8,800 in benefits and allowances.

Article content continued

Five unions

Most of the SHA’s employees are members of one of five unions: The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN); the Service Employees International Union – West (SEIU-West); the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS); the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU).

Three of those unions are working under lapsed collective agreements. Agreements with HSAS and SUN expired in 2018, while SEIU-West’s last agreement expired in 2017. HSAS is currently voting on whether to ratify a tentative deal; SUN goes back to the bargaining table next week.

Those agreements, if ratified, could result in retroactive pay for thousands of health care employees.

Pandemic cost? 

No one knows for sure how much COVID-19 will cost the health authority, and the report declines to give estimates of how much the virus’s economic and social impact will affect employee benefit plans or demand for health services.

“The pandemic is expected to lead to an increase in demand for health services which could impact the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s financial position and operations but the full impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time,” it reads.

More On This Topic

Read More


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *