The Saskatoon Health Region announced plans to cut $34 million in costs by implementing a hiring freeze and by allowing current employees to apply for vacant positions.
The region ended the 2015-16 fiscal year with a $35.7 million deficit.
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“The only target is balanced,” said the health region’s CEO, Dan Florizone. “What we’re saying today is, it’s going to be a big challenge.”
The hiring freeze would be specific to external job applicants with the exception of “hard to recruit areas,” Florizone said.
Last November, officials warned of possible layoffs to balance the health region’s budget.
“Our objectives are to minimize layoffs and if we could avoid them altogether, we will be doing that,” Florizone said.
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About 78 per cent of the region’s expenses are related to salaries and benefits, according to a news release.
The health region reported a $2.7 million average monthly gap between expenses and revenues in the first quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The average monthly gap in the first three quarters of 2015-16 was $5 million.
Officials will present the budget for the Saskatoon Health Region at a board meeting in September.
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