Built into the operating budget this year are new investments including $20 million for surgical initiatives to reduce wait times, $15 million for administrative systems replacement in finance, HR, and payroll, $12 million for additional mental health supports, and $8 million for various other projects.
The total budget is about $4 billion, with revenue and expenditures matched to produce a balanced budget. The expenditures are an increase of $115 million over last year, which is 2.9 per cent.
The biggest chunk of the money goes towards staffing salaries, Peters said.
“Our range for salaries is somewhere in that 80 per cent range, so a very significant component of the SHA’s costs are attributed to the compensation side.”
On the capital budget side, there appears to be $7.3 million surplus this year said Vice President of Infrastructure, Andrew Will. Total budget is $131.9 million.
He says the priorities this year include many ongoing projects including the Meadow Lake Lodge long-term care facility with a $15.7 million investment.
Other investments include electrical renewal at $13.4 million, and $15 million for the Victoria Hospital.
There’s no way to know at this point how the COVID-19 pandemic will or has affected the budget, says SHA Chief Executive Officer Scott Livingstone.
“We simply don’t know what COVID is at this time. We do have some of the numbers trickling in from April, but besides some of those direct costs where we know additional equipment and some of the supply costs, we don’t have all of the information we need now, it’s just too early to tell what the longer term consequences might be to our budget.”
Those costs, depending on what they are and how much, could be spread over several future budget cycles.
“I would suspect they’re going to carry over multiple fiscal years, because I don’t think anyone knows if we’re going to be done with this (pandemic) in the next nine months.”