196 job cuts coming in health care

Barb Sweet
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Some 120-150 managers are expected to come off the health care authorities's payrolls, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said Tuesday.

There will be 196 job losses in health care  - across all four health authorities - as part of provincial cuts announced in the 2013 budget, Kennedy said Tuesday.

Asked to clarify, Kennedy and Sullivan weren't as specific about the actual manager losses, but said the vast majority of positions cut will be managerial.

Operational reviews - clinical and managerial will also take place at health authorities to find efficiencies, Health Minister Susan Sullivan said.

A request for proposals will go out for those reviews.

The job losses in health care are non-core jobs, Sullivan said. And it will take several months to figure out exactly which jobs go.

Sullivan said she has not had a conversation about amalgamating health care boards further.

"What we will do is those (managerial) reviews we talked about," Sullivan said.

"We believe we have to ensure the investments are sustainable investments."

Sullivan said health remains a top priority,  remaining at 40 per cent of the provincial budget.

Spending  this year is aimed at long-term care and community support services,  more services for seniors and some infrastructure spending.

The prescription drug program will see $5.1 million for 12 new drug therapies, eight of which are for cancer patients.

The province is also continuing with changes to to generic drug pricing with the aim to reduce the cost of generic drugs to 25 per cent of brand by July 1.

There's $30 million for the 14 dialysis sites; $4.4 million for new cancer drug therapies for the cancer care and hematology program at Eastern Health; $2.5 million for breast cancer screening, including $500,000 to expand existing sites to accommodate women age 40-49 referred by their family doctors.

The colon cancer screening program will also get $2 million.

And $2 million will go to reducing endoscopy wait times and wait lists.

Personal care homes are getting some money in this budget, including $1.5 million for the enhanced care in personal care homes pilot project; $640,000 to add 100  portable subsidies to the personal care home program to give patients more choice. There will now be 2,348 subsidies for beds in personal care homes.

Many of the capital projects are going ahead  some $226 million in capital health infrastructure, most of it for projects already announced years ago and many still in the planning or design phase.

Those facilities include a new Waterford Hospital in St. John's, still years away from breaking ground. But $700,000 will be added to the planning phase.

Construction is to start however on the new electrical substation at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, with $7.8 million in this year's budget.

Overall there is $165.8 million for continuing construction and redevelopment, $40.2 million for new equipment and $20 million for repairs and renovations.

Long term care is also  a highlight of health spending this year, some of it just a continuation of construction projects.

But there will be $9.2 million more for home support.

Also the community rapid response teams will be expanded to four sites, at a cost of $1.6 million. These teams provide support to seniors in order to reduce hospital admissions.

There's also $6.1 million for the paid family caregiving option and that sum will go up to $8.2 million in 2014-15.





Organizations: Waterford Hospital, Health Sciences Centre

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Steph
    March 26, 2013 - 20:09

    How government can cut 196 in any part of health care is beyond me whether it be managerial or not. We deserve better health care than what we are getting now so we're sure gonna need better health care once this is all over with! I don't know why government can't just cut spending without people having to lose their jobs! if they stop funding "new" things to "fix" things that are old & outdated maybe they wouldn't be in this state, we should not be punished for governments stupid mistakes!