Health Region Balances Budget in Challenging Year
May 27, 2015
Prairie North Regional Health Authority (PNRHA) is meeting the challenge of a difficult fiscal year ahead with plans to achieve a balanced budget by the end of the 2015-16 operating year.
PNRHA Board members today approved a balanced operating budget of $278.5 million that focuses on the priorities of seniors' care, primary health care, and acute care.
PNRHA also plans to spend $1.9 million on renovations and upgrades to its facilities, $1.5 million on new and replacement equipment, and $1.6 million on information technology (IT) infrastructure and patient/staff safety and security systems. The capital management, capital equipment, and IT budgets were also approved by the Board.
Board Chairperson Bonnie O'Grady is extremely pleased that the RHA is able to present a balanced budget and continue to move forward in its priority areas in this highly challenging fiscal environment.
“A lot of hard work and soul searching has gone into what is to be funded this year, when there are many needs and significant financial pressures,” O'Grady stated. “To be able to deliver the investments approved in the 2015-16 operating and capital budgets when we expected that dollars would not be found or available is incredible,” she commented.
O'Grady commended the RHA's Finance Committee, senior leadership team, directors, managers and staff for their hard work in developing the balanced budget.
CEO David Fan explained that at the start of the budget process, Prairie North was facing a $4 million deficit. “Through the diligence and creativity of proposals through our senior leaders, their directors, managers and staff, we have been able to present a balanced budget plan – without cuts or drastic changes,” he said.
“The budget maintains programs and services at last year's levels, meets the most critical needs for enhancements for 2015-16, and operationalizes the priorities and improvements from last year's budget plans,” Fan added.
Fan and O'Grady also acknowledged the generous and unwavering support of the Region's Foundations, trust funds, auxiliaries, and communities toward many of the capital purchases and improvements. “We would not be able to proceed on these acquisitions and improvements without the contributions of these organizations and individuals,” O'Grady said.
The 2015-16 budget plans align fully with the provincial strategic direction for health care ‘Putting Patients First' and its strategic planning pillars of Better Health, Better Care, Better Teams, and Better Value.
- Optimizing patient access and services at the new Primary Health Centre in Lloydminster, bringing the family physician complement to nine by June 1st.
- Moving forward in The Battlefords with development of a new physician clinic with walk-in, evening and weekend access for patients.
- Enhancing access to physician, lab and medical imaging services on and in partnership with Onion Lake First Nation.
- Expansion of the Home First program to Battlefords Home Care and continuation of the Home First program launched last year in Lloydminster.
- Opening and operation of the new 60-bed Lloydminster Continuing Care Centre on behalf of Alberta Health Services, including a new Adult Day Program for the community.
- Operationalizing the third operating room developed over the past year at Lloydminster Hospital, and expanding endoscopy services by an additional day per week.
- Optimizing care for mothers and infants in the redeveloped Lloydminster Hospital Maternity Unit that now includes a new three-bed maternity triage area, two special care rooms for moms and babes, and a new special care nursery.
- Enhancing respiratory therapy services at Lloydminster Hospital.
- Purchase of two new ambulances to replace one each in Cut Knife and Meadow Lake.
- Purchase of new fluoroscopy equipment for Battlefords Union Hospital and space improvements to accommodate the new equipment.
- Purchase of new patient bedside monitoring system for Lloydminster Hospital High Care Unit.
- Purchase and installation of new nurse call systems at Cut Knife Health Complex, Battlefords District Care Centre, and Battlefords Union Hospital to enhance patient safety.
- Completion of roof replacement at St. Walburg Health Complex.
- Creation of 21 new full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to support the Better Care and Better Health enhancements identified above, as well as IT services and support.
- Creation of 5.5 FTE term positions co-funded by the Ministries of Health and Corrections and PNRHA to support planning and development of the new Saskatchewan Hospital.
Construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford is anticipated to begin this summer with completion in 2018.
Prairie North Regional Health Authority continues to work toward replacement of Northland Pioneers Lodge in Meadow Lake and remains committed to this essential capital project.
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For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer, 306-446-6625