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Sun Country Regional Health Authority approves balanced budget

Sun Country Regional Health Authority approved a balanced budget of more than $153 million for the 2015-16 fiscal year at its regular board meeting Wednesday, May 27. The hold-the-line budget will aim to improve patient flow and senior’s care and strengthen mental health services while reducing some staff travel and administration budgets.

The principle of restraint was applied to the governing Regional Health Authority as well as the Sun Country Health Region administration. The RHA’s operating budget was reduced by about eight per cent for next year’s operations.

“Sun Country Regional Health Authority appreciates the diligence and analytical work by administration to develop a budget that continues to address the Patient First Report, improves patient and family-centred care, and supports our daily improvement work using Lean to address patient safety,” says Marilyn Charlton, Chair, Sun Country Regional Health Authority.

One example of Lean improvements is reorganization of the regional equipment sterilization process at Weyburn General Hospital. Defects in the process were reduced by 100 per cent, leading to a safer process for patients, residents and clients.

A second example is the $180,000 reduction in inventory costs in the regional material management department over the past two years as a result of Lean projects that reorganized the process for ordering supplies.

The Region is facing increasing demand for medical and surgical supplies, higher maintenance and laboratory costs, higher utility costs in the three new, larger long term care facilities, increased costs due to expanding ultrasound services, and additional primary health care and chronic disease management.

Cost savings will come from an expected reduction in staff sick days and overtime as the attendance management program focusses on reduced staff injuries and earlier return to work plans for staff.

New programs expected this fall include CT services in St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan, and increases to the ultrasound services in St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan and Weyburn General Hospital. 

A capital budget of $1.3 million for new and replacement equipment purchases for 28 facilities and community programs has been approved.

“This is a tight budget that allows for balanced growth in some service areas, consistent with our population growth and the need for updated technology. The Region also is pleased to have received funding to start the planning for a new hospital in Weyburn,” says Marga Cugnet, President and CEO, Sun Country Health Region.

Posted June 1.  






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