The Manitoba government is moving forward with more changes in health care which it said is “top heavy” at the moment.
Senior executives and those who work within Shared Health and some other areas, were told Thursday the government is looking to move forward with further restructuring of health care in the province.
“The health care system was top-heavy,” Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen said. “We need to push those resources, now more than ever, to the front line. This is an issue of finding the synergies and efficiencies.”
Some positions are being consolidated and some will be eliminated.
“There are some redundant positions within our operations,” Friesen said. “Work has been done to identify where those areas are. Back office areas, payroll, human resource, accounts receivable and work is being done to provide notices to consolidate some of those positions.”
The minister added many people have been told they can re-apply for new positions that will also be created.
“There will be (job losses) for sure,” Friesen said.
“This is intended to get more coordination and better results and there will be some positions shed as a result of this.”
Ian Shaw, leader of provincial health system transformation, said they’re anticipating a net loss of about 50 jobs, while several hundred others will have changes to their title.
“There may be changes to their scope and responsibility, and in some cases, those roles will no longer exist,” Shaw said.
“The application process that we’re doing will have reconfigured or realigned competitions for nearly 80 roles across all parts of the health system.
“There’s not a material impact on the day-to-day work on the front line or patient-focused staff and the delivery of care.”
Shaw added the province stands to save approximately $6.5 million annually because of the changes, with some of that being reinvested in front-line managers, but he said that’s not what the plan was about.
“Even though there is savings, we didn’t start that way,” Shaw said.
“What we really did is look at the function and role organizations play … in terms of quality, safety, how we do planning as more of a system, streamlining some of the key leadership roles, back office, and administrative functions, so we can put that focus back on being able to respond quickly and nimbly to changing and increased health needs.”
An internal memo from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said areas including finance, communications, business analysis, quality and patient safety, health information systems, patient relations, and facilities management are all being redesigned.
“We know this will result in some disruption, particularly to those whose positions are affected, and who in some cases may be asked to compete for new positions,” wrote CEO Vickie Kaminski in the memo obtained by Global News.
“I want to make it clear that these changes are in no way a reflection of individual performance; these are structural changes that are occurring consistently and simultaneously at SDOs across Manitoba.”
The note said the first phase of the changes is already underway, and involves notifying those affected and explaining what options there are. Job postings will go up on Sept. 21 and remain open for three weeks.
Later this month, the WRHA intends to begin transitioning some programs and functions to the care of Shared Health and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.
The final phase, beginning sometime in the fall, will see the “realignment” of positions that report to senior management.
The changes are expected to wrap up near the end of 2020 or early in 2021.
It’s the next stage in the Tory government’s big restructuring plan that started in 2017 when it announced it would be closing three of Winnipeg’s six hospital emergency departments and refocusing two of them on non-life-threatening care.
The Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and Grace Hospital became the city’s primary hospitals offering emergency services in the city.
The emergency departments at Victoria and Seven Oaks were converted to 24/7 urgent care centres, while Concordia’s department was closed and no longer provides 24-hour emergency services.