Southern RHA facing deficit
Southern Regional Health Authority’s chairwoman of the board of directors, Denise Harder, said the first quarter financial report for the newly amalgamated region, which reflects a deficit, indicates the RHA has some challenges going into the next term. (Angela Brown/Portage Daily Graphic/QMI Agency)
The Southern Regional Health Authority will be looking to curb some of its expenses going into the new fall season.
When the new amalgamated board met at Southport on Wednesday, members reported a deficit in the first quarter fiscal report for Southern region.
"Right now it’s very tentative," said chairwoman of the board Denise Harder. “We are going to have some challenges with this new region. That was pretty apparent.”
The Southern Regional Health Authority was formed from the amalgamation of the Central and South Eastman regional health authorities.
Vice president of finance for Southern Regional Health Authority Ken Klassen noted for the first quarter, from April 1 to the end of June of this year, the RHA ended with a deficit of $1.5 million.
The annual budget for the new region is about $320 million. To make up that amount, about $200 million represents the former Central region’s budget and about $115 million the South Eastman region’s budgeted amount.
The Province provides most of the RHA's budget. The highest costs for the RHA, about 80 per cent, are for staff salaries since it is a service-based organization.
"There are always challenges for both regions," said Klassen. "But when they (the two regions) come together, there are probably more challenges."
The former Central RHA was able to balance its budget for the past several years, but now that it is amalgamated as part of the new health authority, the numbers are coming out in the red.
"There were some programs that were undertaken that have not been adequately funded,” Klassen said. “We are working with Manitoba Health to address those (issues)."
He said the Southern RHA board was not surprised to see a deficit of $1.5 million.
“When the amalgamation was announced, based on the fiscal challenges in both regions, we knew that we were anticipating a deficit of $1.8 million for the first quarter,” Klassen said. “So, we’re better than that. We’ll continue to make Manitoba Health aware of our challenges.”