Recruiting rush on to meet Dec. 4 launch date of Sask. health superboard

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The Dec. 4 launch date has been set for the all-in-one Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Now CEO Scott Livingstone and the board of directors will hasten the process for hiring more than a dozen senior managers for the soon-to-launch health superboard.

"We have set aggressive timelines using a combination of appointments and open competitions to expedite the recruitment process and ensure we stay on track to meet our late fall goal for beginning operations," said Karen Hill, a spokesperson for the provincial government.

Around 15 people at the top

The province's senior health management apparatus is going to shrink significantly as a result of the transition.

There are currently 84 senior officials working across the province's 12 existing authorities.

But the new health authority's senior management team will only consist of about 15 people, including CEO Livingstone and a yet-to-be-hired chief operating officer and chief medical officer. That's on top of the 10-person board of directors.

"The recruitment process for senior positions will begin in late September," said Hill. "It will take several weeks. Once posted, the application period will be approximately two weeks."

By hire or appointment?

It's not clear which senior positions will be filled through open competitions and which will be filled by appointment by Livingstone and the board.

"That has not yet been determined," said Hill. "It has been detailed at each step of this process that one decision facilitates another: the board was hired so that they could take on the hiring of the CEO.

"With the naming of the CEO, it was then to him and the board to establish the organization structure and begin that hiring process. That is the stage we are at now."

It's also unclear what role senior officials within the existing 12 health regions will play in the new superboard.

The shift to one authority won't change much for front-line staff, though, according to Hill.

"It has been made clear from the outset of this process that this work was targeting the governance and senior leadership, moving those structures into one, more efficient method of administering healthcare in the province," she said.  

"Frontline health care workers/in-scope employees will experience little to no difference and will continue to carry out their day-to-day functions as usual."