Slight budget increase for Cypress Health Region
The Saskatchewan government’s record $4.99 billion health budget for 2014/15 includes a 4.7 per cent increase in the allocation to the Cypress Health Region.
This budget increase was announced at the Cypress Regional Health Authority board meeting on March 20, which took place a day after the presentation of the provincial budget in the Saskatchewan Legislature.
“It will definitely be maintaining what we’re doing,” Cypress Health CEO Beth Vachon said. “These are not budgets that see lots of expansion of programs. So we’ll be mindful about what are those core services we need to offer — looking at that, and ensuring that we’re providing a consistent and safe service where they exist now.”
In addition to the $120.4 million budget allocation from the province, the health region is expecting to receive approximately $11 million from third-party billing and other fees during the 2014/15 financial year.
The provincial budget allocation includes ongoing financial support for Maple Creek’s Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility that is currently under construction and a $2.1 million allocation for the Swift Current long-term care facility, for which procurement will be completed within the next few months.
“That is ongoing support and of course every government has have to balance what projects they have in the works,” she said. “Health capital projects can span over three or four years, as far as the funding commitment goes, So they need to balance where they’re going to spend new dollars and how they support existing projects.”
The provincial allocation to Cypress Health includes funding for the Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) in Shaunavon and the expansion of the hemodialysis unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital.
“We are still waiting on our Leader project,” Vachon said. “We did know prior to budget that this wouldn’t be going through. I know there’s still a significant interest on the part of government and politicians to make something happen out in Leader.”
The purpose of the Leader capital project is to develop an integrated healthcare facility in the community as part of a new service delivery model. In the meantime, some maintenance and repair work will have to be carried out at the existing health care facilities in Leader.
“Even if we do see funding for a project to go forward there’s immediate concerns out there that we’ll be dealing with shortly this spring so we can ensure that our building is safe and that the envelope is sound,” she said. “So we’ll be doing some work out there this spring and we’ll continue to advocate for an integrated facility out there.”
The details of the health region’s budget will be worked out during the next two weeks and it will be submitted to board members at their May meeting for approval.
“We’re anticipating that we will be presenting a balanced budget,” she said.
Vachon believes the Lean management and operational system can be a useful tool to assist the health region to achieve budget targets.
“The goal of Lean is really to ensure safe patient care,” she said. “The benefit of it though is that we sometimes see a reduction in how we’re spending money on things like inventory and not having to add more staff. So we look at some of those kinds of things as well.”
The use of Lean practices in the provincial health-care system has recently been a debated issue in the provincial legislature.
The opposition criticized the government for the $40 million that will be paid to Lean consultants over four years and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses also expressed concerns that the main focus of Lean is on creating efficiencies, waste reduction and budget savings instead of patient care.
Vachon has not heard any concerns from staff in the health region about Lean implementation issues.
“Our staff have been very welcoming, very open,” she mentioned. “They find it interesting as we’re starting to create some of the data about where they are spending their time and how much time they’re spending doing particular tasks and have been quite willing to work with us on the whole implementation process.”
She has recently spent time with frontline staff in Maple Creek during the implementation of an improvement project.
“It gives us a great opportunity to talk to them about the fact that we aren’t judging the work they’re doing,” she said. “We’re looking at other ways we can streamline the process to free up time to get them back to the bedside and doing the kind of things that they often feel very rushed and pressured to do.”
via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://ift.tt/1p8FJE7