Mitigating a $70-million deficit to balance the budget

The health system balanced its budget for the first time in recent history. This meant mitigating a $70-million deficit. The organization carried $29 million in existing deficits from the former district health authorities and faced $41 million in new pressures and inflation. The achievement is more than financial: it supported the organization’s focus on delivering sustainable, quality care and services.

To address the $70-million pressure, the organization:

  • identified many pockets of best practice and rolled them out province-wide
  • looked at activities that enabled the organization to better plan and deliver services across the province
  • enhanced purchasing practices that spanned the full organization and were more consistent. That allowed Nova Scotia Health Authority to take advantage of bulk purchasing and better pricing
  • planned services and activities as a system — co-ordinated slowdowns; ensured greater consistency of tests, drugs and staffing patterns; took a co-ordinated approach to overtime, sick time and management of job vacancies
  • standardized rates for uninsured services, such as semi-private and private rooms and rates for out-of-country patients
  • streamlined administration

Responding to challenges as one system

Being one provincial health authority has allowed us to be more responsive and effective when faced with challenges. For instance, after sterilizers caused debris to appear on operating equipment at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Colchester East Hants Health Centre pitched in to supply OR trays, allowing surgeries in Halifax to resume quickly.

Stories of managing our resources together

As one system, we are better able to share best practices across the organization and make the most efficient, effective use of finite resources.

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority Provincial Office, 90 Lovett Lake Court, Suite 201
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3S 0H6
  • Telephone: 1-844-491-5890