Nova Scotia

What the N.S. Health Authority head hopes to get out of recent staff shake-up

Less than a week after the interim CEO and president of the Nova Scotia Health Authority sent an internal email about restructuring and the removal of three vice-president positions, Janet Davidson is offering more insight into what it means.

'We want to ensure Nova Scotians get the same standard of care wherever they may be,' says Janet Davidson

Nova Scotia Health Authority interim CEO and president Janet Davidson says the recent staff changes will give hospitals more autonomy to make decisions in a timely fashion.

Less than a week after the interim CEO and president of the Nova Scotia Health Authority sent an internal email about restructuring and the removal of three vice-president positions, Janet Davidson is offering more insight into what it means.

She said the aim is to provide consistent care to Nova Scotians wherever they are in the province and give hospitals more autonomy to make decisions in a timely fashion.

"I think we have to respect there are differences in zones and that's the reality of anywhere I guess, but there's certain standards," she said. "We want to ensure Nova Scotians get the same standard of care wherever they may be."

The restructuring changes were made in consultation with Dr. Brendan Carr, who will be taking over as CEO and president in three weeks, Davidson said.

She said there were growing pains when nine health authorities merged into one in 2015. She said after reviewing what they were doing, it became clear things needed to change.

For example, one of the changes the health authority is hoping to make will be to ensure zone vice-presidents live in their respective zones.

Davidson said the idea here is so vice-presidents will "have a much more on the ground view of what's happening and be able to respond to issues and concerns more effectively."

Benefits of consolidation

She said there have been benefits since the health authorities consolidated, including the ability to purchase medical supplies in large quantities.

Davidson said human resources have also been consolidated, so there's consistency in staffing. She said all zones, regardless of size, should have the same access to training and development programs.

"When you put in place a structure, especially something that's as big and complex as this, it's important that you review it on an ongoing basis to see whether it's consistent with your initial intentions," she said.

With files from Michael Gorman

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