PEI

Health PEI looks to cut costs

Health PEI is looking to reduce spending by up to $10 million, and is sitting down with the union representing many of its workers to figure out how to do that.

Health PEI is looking to reduce spending by up to $10 million, and is sitting down with the union representing many of its workers to figure out how to do that.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents about 1,000 health care workers on P.E.I., will meet Wednesday morning with Premier Robert Ghiz and Health Minister Doug Currie to talk about saving money. The process started with a memo from Health PEI officials to all staff in health asking for suggestions on how to save money, which would then be reinvested in other programming.

CUPE P.E.I. president Lori MacKay said the union's concerns go beyond saving money.

"How they are going to do that and how that'll affect health care services for Islanders is part of our concern," said MacKay.

"We have had some discussions that jobs would not be looked at, but we just want to get more clarity on that."

Health PEI CEO Dr. Richard Wedge said 275 staff submissions on budget savings are now being reviewed. He said they cover a large range of issues, including how supplies are bought and the management of drug budgets.

A $10 million cut in spending would represent a 1.7 per cent saving in P.E.I.'s $578 million health budget. Health spending increased 3.5 per cent in this year's budget.

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