Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Surgeons aren’t the only ones who can cut!

"You will also face some tough choices in the year head to live within your means"-- BC Health Minister Kevin Falcon, outlining the road ahead for the province's health authorities.

Calling Doctor Falcon, Doctor Falcon to Emergency!!

The Government of British Columbia today put the onus on the province’s health authorities to make sure that they stick to their budgets.

Provincial health minister, Kevin Falcon, has told the province's six health regions they are expected to cut $360 million from their operating budgets next year and hold the line on costs.

It's a directive that has a number of authorities looking everywhere, from parking fees to cancelled surgeries to make sure that they come in under the line drawn by Falcon.

Two health authorities have even gone so far as to give advance warning that they will be required to cancel almost a month of elective surgery in Vancouver hospitals during the Olympics, reducing by 35 per cent the number of elective surgeries performed over the one-month period in February and March, 2010.

A move that will no doubt add to the concern of British Columbians over the impact that the Olympics will be having on the province, hosting a world event is one thing, but sending patients back to the booking office during the festival of fun can only be recipe for some bad press to come one would think.

The Campbell Government never outlined this plan of fiscal accountability during the recent election campaign, and most likely for a very good reason. It might have provided for a different electoral count had the electorate been brought up to speed on the cuts that are now deemed necessary by the health authorities, all in order to meet the province’s guideline for operations.

Northern Health has not outlined as yet what, if, or where they will have to make cuts in order to bring balance to their accounts, though the widespread nature of that health authority can only mean that the pain will be spread across the North and Northwest.

The Vancouver Sun-- Metro Vancouver health authorities cuts to include layoffs, increased fees

The Victoria Times Colonist-- Vancouver Island Health Authority to cut jobs, sell assets, hike fees to balance budget

CBC-- B.C. health authorities cut costs to meet budgets

CTV BC-- B.C. targeting $360 million in health care cuts

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