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Sun Country Regional Health Authority approves 2013-14 budget

Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA), the governing body of Sun Country Health Region, approved a $141 million operating budget on May 29 that supports provincial and regional priorities for the 2013-14 fiscal year.  

“The Region has developed a tight budget with a 2.6 per cent increase in revenues over the 2012-13 operating budget. We will see improved access to primary health services, and strengthened mental health and addictions services to account for our increased population,” says John Knoch, Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services.

“The Ministry of Health has provided additional funding for inflation, increases in drug costs, population growth, and infrastructure costs.”

SCRHA’s revenue and expenditure plan focuses on these priority areas:
-  improved access to surgeries, primary health professionals and mental health and addictions programs
-  more programs available to those with chronic disease
-  more emphasis on recruitment of rural family doctors and infection control in facilities
-  more colonoscopies for screening of colorectal cancer
-  expansion of autism services

“All of these priorities will be carried out in a manner consistent with the Patient First approach to care, while continuing our strategic work (hoishins) and adapting to a lean system of management,” says Mr. Knoch. “We are already starting to see a return on our investment in the lean system and will see more of it in the upcoming year.”

The Revenue and Expenditure Plan presented to the SCRHA for the year ending March 31, 2014, shows a balanced budget, after allocation of transfers to the capital fund.

While the budget provided additional resources to maintain current operating levels, the Region is taking a number of steps to reduce expenditures during the 2013-14 fiscal year as a result of $2 million in efficiency targets set by the Ministry of Health.

Those measures include:
- more effective and efficient delivery of supplies and lower projected utility costs
- management of absenteeism and reduced injuries in the workplace
- service changes in low volume laboratory sites  
- efficiency targets for affiliates.  

“We focussed on finding cost savings that do not affect patient care,” says Mr. Knoch. “Our focus on improving the cost-effectiveness of our programs and services helps us put patients and their families first.”

 Posted May 30.

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