September 8, 2016 8:43 am

Saskatoon Health Region facing $30M deficit in 2016-17

Saskatoon Health Region looking for ways to save money as it faces a $30 million deficit for 2016-17.

File / Global News

The Saskatoon Health Region is aiming for a balanced budget in 2016-17, although if it doesn’t find more savings, there will be a $30 million deficit.

Health region officials said they are working hard to find ways to save money in its $1.2 billion operating budget.

The division has so far avoided layoffs through a two month hiring freeze.

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They are hoping to find more ways to save in the months ahead as it tries to avoid a deficit.

There are lots of areas that need money.

Royal University Hospital needs an $8 dollar upgrade to its heating system, and $12 million in other repairs.

CEO Dan Florizone said it’s the most challenging financial situation he’s ever faced in healthcare.

“As a not-for-profit, publicly funded organization, our target is a balanced operating budget,” Florizone said.

“We have tough decisions to make in the weeks ahead as we continue to work to close the gap between revenues and expenses. We have a number of actions underway in support of this year’s operating budget and are taking our responsibility of balancing seriously.”

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Florizone said the health region will announce some of the decisions it has made to save money while ensuring accessible health services in the coming weeks.

SHR posted a $35.7 million deficit in the 2015-16 operating year.

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