New concerns about cost of Nova Scotia health merger
Health Minister Leo Glavine says he hasn't seen a pricetag yet
Nova Scotia's New Democrats say they have received a briefing note suggesting the health department has costed out the plan to merge the province's health districts, but the health minister insists that's not the case.
"We're talking about negligible costs at this point in time," said Leo Glavine.
He's adamant he has not yet seen figures detailing the cost of eliminating eight of the province's 10 district health authorities.
"No, I have no figure on what it would cost, no," he said. "By September, when Pat Lee finishes his work we'll be dotting the i's, crossing the t's and we will know at that point who will be terminated and who will be part of the new structure and then we will say here's the cost."
A briefing note to the minister marked confidential does itemize what needs to be considered when adding up the process.
That includes the price of consultants and communications work, the cost of severance to bureaucrats who will lose their jobs as well the cost of travel and training for new board members.
The briefing note doesn’t attach figures, which worries the acting leader of the NDP.
"If I were in his shoes I'd want to know what this costs and how much money we're going to be taking from front line health care to reorganize the system," said Maureen MacDonald.
The governing Liberals plan to bring in legislation this fall to create the new health structure.
MacDonald says someone should be figuring out how much it will all cost by now.
The health department says the goal is to have nine health boards merged into one board by April 1, 2015. The plan would see the IWK Health Centre in Halifax maintain its own board.