Health Authority board meeting minutes reveal a deficit

November 17, 2015

The Nova Scotia Health Authority is running a deficit and is planning additional cuts according to documents obtained by the NDP Caucus through a Freedom of Information request.

The deficit was revealed in the minutes of the June 25 board meeting of the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The minutes state, “The current projected deficit will have mitigations applied to decrease the deficit over time; a process to support managers in meeting their budget targets is in development.” The minutes go on to say, “The CFO also indicated that he has been meeting with staff across the province delivering the message that the board is serious about meeting targets.”

See minutes here.

The Board meeting was held just three weeks after the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) released its 2015-16 business plan which included a combined $41 million in cost cutting measures and increased fees.

“Really, this calls into question the entire process around the Liberal Health Authority’s business plan,” says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald. “The plan itself states the authority is ‘committed to a balanced budget,’ if that’s the case how can the NSHA be in deficit just weeks after the business plan was released? Shouldn’t conversations about meeting fiscal targets have been held prior to the release of the plan? It just shows how disorganized our health care system is under the McNeil government.”

MacDonald says the bigger concern is that it appears more cuts are on the way to a health care system already in turmoil under the McNeil government.

“Our mental health care system is in crisis, there is a shortage of long term care beds, wait lists for surgeries are on the rise, the morale of our health care workers is at an all-time low, and yet the Liberal government and its newly appointed Health Board is preoccupied with making cuts instead of improving care. Once again, Stephen McNeil’s priorities need to be called into question.”