Health & Wellness Department axing up to 128 full-time positions

Some big cuts are coming to administrative jobs in the province’s Health and Wellness Department.

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald has laid out plans to merge six of its health-service departments, cutting up to 128 full time positions along the way. The cuts include the elimination of up to 20 vice-president and director positions.

The first four areas to be merged are general administration, supply services, finance and payroll and laundry. The other two departments, human resources and information technology, will be phased in later.

“The merging of these services makes sense — it will focus resources on patient care by reducing administrative cost and it will help the province get back to balance so that we can protect important public services,” MacDonald says. “We believe that we could save between $44-million and $52-million a year (once the plan is fully implemented).”

In the short term, the province plans to save $7 million to $8.8 million over the next 18 months.

“Any cut to jobs within the health care system is going to affect patient care,” says CUPE NS President Danny Cavanagh who represents 3,300 health care workers. “If they build laundry hubs as an example. If we can’t get bed sheets in the room, they can’t get supplies in the rooms that they need, that will affect patient care.”

However, Cavanaugh is pleased to see that the province didn’t accept recommendations to privatize laundry and food services.

Implementation of the merger will begin as early as Friday, March 2.

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