Peace Country Health mum on budget
South Peace News
Peace Country Health will make no comments on their budget or how outlying communities will be affected.
Marvin Moore, chief executive officer of Peace Country, says the board is holding their budget discussions in camera and will not make any announcements until Alberta Health and Wellness has approved it.
"We're still negotiating things with Alberta Health. We don't want to negotiate in public it's that simple," Moore told South Peace News on June 17.
During an April 9 press conference, Moore told several news agencies that government announcements of their budget allowances wasn't enough to make ends meet.
There was a shortfall of $4 million in the operating budget and $2 million in capital upgrading.
"It's pretty hard on our budget (operational) to find $4 million. We can't find $4 million, that's all there is to it," he told reporters on April 9.
Moore went on to say the board faced difficult decisions. The options they considered were appealing to Health and Wellness and Infrastructure; increasing revenue by introducing patient charges; eliminating health care programs; closing smaller facilities and limiting new wage and salary increases; continuing to review budget requests that could be refined ; and operating at a deficit for the current fiscal year.
Moore also said closing hospitals was not among those choices.
"Under no circumstances are we going to entertain closing any facilities, downsizing any facilities. Those are not options at all. This board is not looking at any closures whatsoever."
Health authorities made no announcements following that press conference. Any discussions and options considered by the board are under wraps until a budget plan is signed, sealed and delivered by Health and Wellness.
"Because we haven't finalized it yet. All the discussions up to that point are done in camera," says Moore of the final budget.
Rose Kasinec, one of this area's board members to Peace Country, says she's unwilling to talk about the budget and what it means to communities in the authority.
After a June 4th in camera session Kasinec says the board has a revised capital plan, but she's not discussing it.
"The work is on-going with Alberta Health," she adds.
Candace Toews, communications with Health and Wellness in Edmonton, says that at this point, how an authority conducts its business is up to them.
As well, adds Toews, after reviewing the act governing authorities, that level of accountability from a health authority isn't required.
"I've reviewed the act . . . and it seems reasonable that the RHA is having that meeting in camera."
Copyright © 1999-2003 South Peace News. All Rights Reserved.
No part may be reproduced without written permission.
View our Privacy Statement.
Send website suggestions to the Webmaster