South West Nova District Health Authority

Serving Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby Counties

March 21, 2002

South West Health Authority Business Plan finalized


With approval from the Department of Health, the South West Nova District Health Authority is now able to release details of the 2002-2003 business plan.


“When we learned we would have to work within the same level of funding as last year, we based our 2002-2003 business plan on revenue generators and cost recoveries.  This way we were able to maintain our existing services to our public,” says Blaise MacNeil, Chief Executive Officer, South West Nova District Health Authority.


Early plans indicated the District Health Authority required $2,843,273 in funding over last year in order to maintain the status quo.  Additional funding from the government’s announcement of $22.5 extra for health care, netted the South West Nova District Health Authority with 4% or $961,600. This additional funding was allocated to offset rising costs such as renal dialysis/oncology medication cost increases and nursing overtime costs. A sum of $23, 400 was allocated from a previous provincial payroll support program. The difference of $1,858,273 is the anticipated shortfall for the 2002/2003 fiscal year and must be offset by the district health authority.


Initiatives approved by the Department of Health:


Yarmouth Regional Hospital nursing realignment                               -            $480,000

Satellite Blood Collection fee                                                               -            $  80,000

Alternate funding for Roseway Hospital switchboard night shift            -            $  50,000

Emergency Department charges (starter doses, soft collars, etc.)            -            $150,000

Food and Nutrition cost increases                                                          -            $  75,000

Administrative efficiencies                                                                    -            $318,273

Institute paid parking at all 3 hospitals in the district                          -            $400,000


Discussions are ongoing with the Department of Health to determine how the balance of $305,000 will be addressed.


In total the South West Nova District Health Authority received $42,906,089 from the Department of Health for the 2001-2002 fiscal year and will receive $43,891,089 for 2002-2003.


The South West Nova District Health Authority is one of nine district health authorities serving the province of Nova Scotia.  SWNDHA is responsible for delivering a wide range of health services and programs to more than 65,000 residents of Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby Counties.  Three hospitals and three programs are administered by the SWNDHA:  Roseway Hospital, Digby General Hospital and Yarmouth Regional Hospital as well as Public Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services.  Public Health and Addiction services are shared with the South Shore District Health Authority and Annapolis Valley District Health Authority.


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For more information contact: Barbara Johnson at 749-0517 or 742-3542 ext. 517.


Initiatives Background


Paid Parking

Paid parking will be initiated at each site (Roseway Hospital, Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Digby General Hospital).  Models in other districts will be reviewed to select the most appropriate for the South West Nova District Health Authority.


Yarmouth Regional Hospital Nursing Realignment

Due to nursing shortages beds have been closed, staff have been regularly called back, elective surgeries have sometimes been cancelled and high bed utilization means staff cannot move patients admitted through Emergency as quickly as needed.  The realignment will allow for the better utilization of staff and will allow the district to manage resources, beds and nurses more efficiently.  The pediatric and obstetric units will merge, allowing the district to open additional medical/surgical beds.  Oncology will move to a larger location to better accommodate the number of patients accessing the service.  The alternate level of care (ALC) unit has moved and has increased from 13 to 15 beds.


Satellite Blood Collection Clinics

Four rural blood collection sites are offered throughout the district as a convenience to patients.  A $7.00 fee will be charged for blood collection at these clinics.  Patients have the option to have free blood collection from their local hospital where there will be no fee.  Other private organizations charge at least double what the district proposes to charge. 


Alternate Funding for Roseway Hospital Switchboard nightshift

The Department of Health has directed that we must maintain the Roseway Hospital switchboard 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to assist local volunteer fire departments.  The District Health Authority acknowledges the need for this service to Shelburne County fire departments, however, believe it is more appropriately funded outside the health budget.


Emergency Department charges

As is common in other provinces and in some districts in Nova Scotia, a charge will be applied to starter doses given out through the emergency department along with other items such as puffers, soft collars, optional fibreglass casts, etc. 


Food and Nutrition costs

Meal costs at each of the three hospital cafeterias will be increased.  Preliminary discussions have placed the increase at 5% but final decisions have not yet been made.  Hospital cafeterias supply meals to long-term care facilities (LTC) and the per patient/per day cost to the LTC facilities has not risen to offset district costs.  The district will increase the cost of meals provided to LTC in order to reach a breakeven position.


Administrative Efficiencies

An attendance management program will be initiated which is expected to reduce employee sick time, thereby reducing the number of callbacks.  The group purchasing arrangement we are negotiating is expected to result in cost savings greater than $100,000.