Horizon asks health centres to close temporarily
Horizon Health Network is ordering its senior managers to find five weekdays when its 28 health centres can be closed before March 31.
The province's largest health network asked for the possible closure dates in the latest attempt to save money.
Geri Geldart, the vice-president of community health and nursing affairs for the health authority, said the system would operate similar to a weekend or a statutory holiday on those days.
She said one option would be for the centres to co-ordinate their days off.
"We know that in the past we've had circumstances where perhaps the physicians had days off that we had a full roster of staff at the centre," she said.
"We feel if we give the staff enough time to plan this in advance they can identify times where they could all be off at the same time."
Geldart said the centres are already closed on weekends and holidays, so she said the closures will have a minimal impact on health care.
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has informed every government department that it must trim its costs as the Progressive Conservative government attempts to eliminate its budget deficit.
The Department of Health has been spared to a degree compared to other departments.
Instead of facing an actual budget cut, the department has seen the estimated increase in funding that it would normally have received, diminished by two per cent.
Geldart said the closures will save Horizon Health Network about $150,000.