Highlights of the Board of Directors public meeting

Dalhousie, April 26, 2016 – The Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network held its regular public meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Dalhousie.

Resource management – Network performance

Bed utilization and visits to the emergency departments

As at February 29, 2016, the overall average of beds occupied by long-term care patients was 23.4% compared to 24.9% last year, i.e. a 6.5% improvement. The percentage of visits to the emergency departments for triage levels 4 and 5 was 63.7% compared to 64.1% for the same period the previous year. This represents an improvement of 0.7%.

Financial resources

As at February 29, 2016, the Network recorded total expenditures (excluding Medicare) of $554.6 million, which represents a small operating deficit of $13,371 compared to the planned budget. The Network recorded a surplus of $1.5 million in employee salaries and benefits. An improvement was noted in the sick leave rate compared to worked hours, which went from 5.9% in 2014-2015 to 5.7% this year. Some items of expenditure showed an increase, including patient meals and housekeeping.

2016-2017 operating budget

The Board of Directors approved a balanced operating budget of $610.8 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The Network management also confirmed its commitment to implementing Phase 1 of its Clinical Services Plan. “Thanks to the diligent work of the teams in place, the Network managed to spare a financial cushion of $4 million during the 2016-2017 fiscal year from the allocated budget,” stated President and Chief Executive Officer Gilles Lanteigne. “This money will be used to start the transformation and modernization of health care, which will focus on primary health care, with a marked emphasis on ambulatory and community-based care as well as on home-based care and services."

2016-2017 capital budget and infrastructure projects

The Network confirmed that the Department of Health had approved a capital and equipment budget of $48.2 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, i.e. $39.8 million for infrastructures, $6.2 million for equipment, and $2.2 million for major renovations.

Gisèle Beaulieu, Vice-President of Performance, Quality and Corporate Services, provided an overview of the main projects under way within the Network:

  • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre: new surgical suite, total estimated cost of the project: $101 million; 2016-2017 budget: $17.8 million; anticipated date for the opening of the surgical suite, Central Processing, and Intensive Care Unit: June 2020; anticipated date for the opening of the new Step-Down Care and Receiving sector : November 2021.
  • Centre of Excellence for Youth in Campbellton: total estimated cost of the project: $11.8 million; 2016-2017 budget: $2 million to start architectural plans; start of construction: March 2017; opening of new facility: July 2018.
  • Chaleur Regional Hospital: expansion and renovation of the facility, total estimated cost of the project: $217 million; 2016-2017 budget: $18.2 million; project completion: 2023.
  • Edmundston Regional Hospital: relocation of the child psychiatry sector of the Psychiatry Unit; $550,000 budget; project completed in April 2016.

Rapid rehabilitation and reablement services

The Network presented the rapid rehabilitation and reablement services initiative, which is part of the Department of Health’s Home First strategies. The purpose of this initiative is to offer seniors short-term intensive care and treatment to help them regain their independence and stay at home following hospitalization or an incident in the community. Individuals eligible will have access to rapid, continuous, integrated and intensive care and services from the Extra-Mural Program.

These services, which will be available throughout the province, will be implemented progressively on the Network territory over the next two years.