Health Department Cuts May Affect Quebec

Health Department Cuts May Affect Quebec

Cuts made by the Health Department and imposed on institutions exert a high amount of pressure on services.

Quebec asked to reduce spending by $50 million by the end of the year on surgical procedures, which is roughly a quarter of the normal annual bill.

The health system is waiting for the specific requirements from the Ministry regarding the amounts to be recovered for the year 2012-2013.

It emerged from conference calls in recent days between health agencies that Quebec is required to recover $50 million that had been granted to surgery. This will reduce the amount allocated by a quarter for operations for such things as cataracts, knees, or hip replacement.

Quebec claims that we can reach the goal without reducing services to patients. However, behind the scenes, institutions say it will be difficult to do so with less money.

Cuts in Regional Offices

Quebec also wants the network to give $30 million additional which will come from reserves that regional agencies often keep instead of distributing the budget amongst institutions.

Monday night, during a conference call, it was established that the Ministry of Health sought $23 million savings from the agency in Montreal alone.

Establishments were invited to reduce administrative costs to a minimum to reduce bureaucracy and preserve services for the population. Minister Réjean Hébert assured that this is a general operation throughout Quebec which had no particular targets.

In addition, Quebec wants to achieve $125 million in savings in the purchase of medicines by the institutions, cuts that were already in the pipeline, according to a source in the network.

Rumours of further cuts abound amongst regional agencies. But it is understood that it will be unique measures to end the year 2012-2013, by March 31. Agencies are already making cuts since the adoption of the Budget Act of 2010: where they had been forced to cut costs by 10% over three years.
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LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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