Nova Scotia

Capital Health outlines $10M cuts

More details emerged Tuesday about Capital Health's plan to cut $10 million from its annual budget.

More details emerged Tuesday about the Capital District Health Authority's plan to cut $10 million from its annual budget.

The Halifax-area health provider will eliminate 120 positions and partially close 18 beds as it streamlines services to meet the cuts imposed by Darrell Dexter's NDP government.

The Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre said it would not replace many of the upcoming vacancies in its 11,000-member workforce to avoid having to lay off staff.

Amanda Whitewood, vice-president of sustainability, said it will affect the hospital.

"It will remove the flexibility we have as an organization and it will increase our reliance and dependence on who remains. That does create some risk," she said.

"We see less than 40 people within our system that will be affected."

Smaller vans, fewer meals, cheaper antibiotics

A business plan released Tuesday includes dozens of changes to the way CDHA does business.

It will convert its current shuttle to a smaller van, cut down on the number of meals prepared and use cheaper antibiotics.

"We have tried to minimize impact to patients. Some patients may have to wait until the next day to get X-rays and things as we've taken out some after-hours services," said Chris Power, president of CDHA.

She was referring to a decision to eliminate an on-call shift that provides bone, renal, lung and other scans. Staff had been on call after midnight in case of emergency, but it had no calls last year and so the shift is being eliminated to save money.

Ambulatory care clinics will also see streamlining, Whitewood said.

"There may be a central registration point for three or four clinics and they may see less of a buzz of moving people and paper around to achieve what we hope is a better goal,  a better objective, of streamlining the way we deliver care," she said.

CDHA has a budget of about $800 million a year.