Government of Canada announces funding for a new Opioid Stewardship Program in Saskatchewan

Health Canada
January 11, 2019
By Health Canada
The opioid crisis is a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting increased engagement with health professionals to ensure that opioid medications are available to people who need them, while limiting the potential for harm.

Health Canada is investing more than $2.3 million over four years to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), for the delivery of a new Opioid Stewardship Program that will engage health professionals, promote appropriate opioid prescribing practices and develop educational materials for practitioners.

The opioid crisis is affecting communities across Saskatchewan and the country. This initiative is one of a range of activities that the Government of Saskatchewan is pursuing to address the issue in the province. It will help reduce the high number of hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses in Saskatchewan as cited by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The immense scope of this crisis, which has led to hospitalizations and deaths across Canada, highlights the need for engagement with health professionals. This project aims to raise awareness and develop new approaches to chronic pain management, which may contribute to better patient outcomes and decreased opioid hospitalizations.

Funded under Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), the Opioid Stewardship Program, based in Regina, will produce results that can be applied across the province and country. For this initiative, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will work with primary care providers, dentists, stakeholders and other partners.

For more information on the Government of Canada's actions to address the opioid crisis, visit Canada.ca/Opioids.

Quick Facts:
  • SUAP provides more than $28 million annually to support initiatives that work to prevent, treat and reduce all forms of harm from substance misuse. The program accepts proposals on a continual basis.
  • As part of Budget 2018, the Government is investing approximately $231 million for new programs to address the opioid crisis.
  • Through Budget 2018, the Government also announced an investment of $200 million, with $40 million annually thereafter, to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate problematic use treatment and prevention services in First Nations and Inuit communities with high needs.
  • Saskatchewan recently signed a bilateral agreement under the Government of Canada's Emergency Treatment Fund. The agreement provided more than $5 million in federal funding to support initiatives that will facilitate and increase access to essential treatment services in the province to help people with problematic substance use.
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