May 11, 2012
The province has approved the 2012-13 business plans of Nova Scotia's nine district health authorities and IWK in record time.
"The government made a commitment to approve district health authority business plans in a timely manner and this year is the earliest yet that these plans have been approved," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald.
"For a second year in a row, the district health authorities and the IWK worked hard to find efficiencies that would have minimal impact to patient care," said Ms. MacDonald. "This has been a thorough, in-depth exercise for those who manage health care and help to ensure health-care services are affordable now and into the future."
The 2012-13 business plans mark the second year government has curbed escalating health-care costs, which had doubled in 10 years. The authorities will receive $1.6 billion from the Department of Health and Wellness. The net budget reduction to the authorities for this year is minus 0.4 per cent.
The district health authorities will also need to absorb $47.9 million in costs related to changes in cost of living and increased demand for health care services.
Greater collaboration among the nine district health authorities and IWK will help save up to $8 million this year through merged services by reducing health care administration including the reduction of up to 19 vice-presidents and senior executives. The district health authorities are working together in the areas of procurement, finance and payroll, human resources and IT, and laundry and general administration.
"District health authorities can manage the budgets more closely by bringing in any changes in a planned, thoughtful approach while continuing to evolve and innovate the way they deliver programs and services," said Bruce Saunders, chair of the council of health board chairs for 2012-13.
"By approving these plans early, the district health authorities have a full year to implement giving them a much better position to use their resources wisely and act on ideas that came forward to improve efficiencies," said Mr. Saunders, who is also the chair of the Cumberland Health Authority.
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