(Saskatoon) – Saskatoon Regional Health Authority today approved Saskatoon Health Region’s 2014-15 year-end financial statements.
The 2014-15 budget was built on a plan to achieve $40 million in cost reductions though shared provincial supply procurement and better matching staffing to demand for healthcare services. Just over $20 million in cost savings were achieved, resulting in a deficit of $19.36 million for 2014-15, the equivalent cost of six days of operation.
The deficit was driven by higher than projected demand for healthcare services, stemming from a growing population. The high demand and resulting chronic overcapacity led to higher staffing and supply costs, higher overtime and sick time costs, and higher staff turnover costs. Increased repair and maintenance costs were also a factor.
“Saskatoon Health Region serves not only some of the fastest growing cities in the province, but as a tertiary centre, provides healthcare services to individuals across Saskatchewan,” said Saskatoon Health Region’s President and CEO Dan Florizone. “Meeting this increased demand and serving the needs of a changing population is often challenging and places pressure on our healthcare providers who are working diligently to place the needs of patients, families, clients and residents first. We know that through strategies to stabilize our system, such as our 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day initiative, we will not only improve the patient experience, but can also enhance the work-life balance for our employees.”
Over the last five years, Saskatoon and area’s population has increased 15.3 percent and demand for Saskatoon Health Region healthcare services has also grown, including a 17.3 per cent increase in hospital stays, a 12.1 per cent increase in hospital births, and a 10 per cent increase in surgeries. The increase in demand has been managed with only a 5.9 percent (net of inflation) increase in spending.
Saskatoon Regional Health Authority will review the Region’s 2015-16 budget in detail in June. Elements of Saskatoon Health Region’s financial strategy to recover the 2014-15 loss and avoid a future gap between revenue and expenses, include:
- $12.8 million in savings through more efficient processes as part of the current 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day initiative
- $3 million in savings through better management of non-unionized vacant positions
- $3 million reduction in administrative spending (supplies, contracts travel)
- $9.2 million reduction in healthcare provider overtime costs
- $7 million reduction in sick time costs
- $4.8 million reduction in staff turnover costs
“Our 2015-16 approach will be more than a budget,” said Florizone. “It will be a strategic plan to improve services to patients, residents and clients, while living within our means.”
Watch Dan's interview with media on the year-end financials here