As stewards of public money and a leading provider of health and community services in Newfoundland and Labrador, Eastern Health has the responsibility to ensure that we are spending our budget appropriately and effectively.
In recent years, Eastern Health has experienced budget deficits and that have required stabilization funding from the Provincial Government. We recognized we had to analyze our operations to see why these deficits were occurring and whether we were operating efficiently.
In October 2010, we engaged Health Care Management Group (HCM) to help us determine how we were performing in comparison to other like health care organizations in the country. What we found out was that Eastern Health is amongst the worst performers for efficiency; it was costing significantly more to do the same kind of work that was occurring in similar organizations in the country.
Caring for an acute care patient, cleaning a hospital room, providing cafeteria services or managing goods and supplies should not cost more here than it does elsewhere. It is the same work in similar environments. The fact that it was costing us a lot more told us we had work to do to improve our operations. We were inefficient and as a result we were wasting human and financial resources.
Last year, I asked our management group to identify initiatives in their respective program and service areas to address the inefficiencies and our managers have worked diligently to improve our operations.
The initiatives outlined on this web page complete the work that is already started, and will return the organization to a balanced budget position.
Of the 550 FTEs that will be eliminated through this operational improvement process, 385 are permanent positions. However, none of the employees in those positions will be laid off and these positions will be eliminated through attrition. The employees currently in those positions will be redeployed to other areas of the organization until such time as they retire. The other 165 FTEs do not represent permanent employees in the organization; rather, it is a measure used to count hours of work equivalent to a full-time position. The reduction in these positions will be achieved through reducing hours of work and will result in less hours of work for temporary employees and less overtime for permanent employees.
I want to reassure the people of this province that the initiatives we are implementing will not have an impact on the quality and safety of the care we provide. We will closely monitor the actions we are taking to ensure that. Further, we look forward to realizing these savings so that we may make new investments into health and community services to address our priority areas including access and wait times. Vickie Kaminski
President and Chief Executive OfficerEastern HealthMay 29, 2012