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Validation team appointed to review HSN's budget

Local Health Integration Network triggered review after budget makes deep cuts aimed at reining in deficitĀ 
Health Sciences North. (File)

The North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) has finally appointed the team that will conduct a third-party review of Health Sciences North's 2018-2019 budget.

The so-called "validation review" of the $505.8-million budget approved by HSN's board of directors approved in April is the next phase of the planning cycle, Kate Fyfe, the LHIN's vice-president of performance and accountability, told at the time.

HSN’s board passed a budget containing a $4.9-million deficit, that trims 113 jobs from the payroll, reduces $6.9 million in program expenses outside clinical departments and cuts HSN’s capital budget for renovations, equipment and information technology by 23 per cent.

The budget process, led by HSN president and chief executive officer Dominic Giroux, was an exhaustive one as the former Laurentian University president held weeks of discussions with top administrators and front-line staff.

Giroux warned earlier that the deficit for 2018-2019 could be as high as $10 million if measures weren’t taken to contain it.

The goal of the validation, the LHIN maintains, is to provide a thorough review of how HSN’s budget may impact service delivery and capacity at the hospital and across the system.
Kevin Empey, who the LHIN calls "a highly regarded health care leader," will oversee the validation and BDO Canada LLP  will undertake the analysis. The team will report directly to the NE LHIN CEO Jérémy Stevenson. A report is due no later than June 30.

The team will:

• Review and assess the feasibility of HSN’s 2018-19 budget and determine if there are any additional efficiencies to be gained with no impact on clinical services/patient care;
• Assess the long-term financial plan to enable HSN to maintain a balanced budget;
• Do a comparative analysis with other hospitals across the province;
• Consider the impact of the budget on revenue sources; and
• Review partnerships to support patient care.

-with files from Carol Mulligan