Central Health slashes 19 positions
No impact on front line service delivery says CEO
There will certainly be some juggling of duties within the management structure at Central Health following the announcement last week of the elimination of 19 positions.
The public is being reassured that frontline services shouldn’t be affected, however.
The province announced this morning that 93 positions were being slashed at the regional health authorities, along with the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI).
“There shouldn’t be any noticeable change to the public,” the health authority’s president and CEO, Rosemarie Goodyear, told TC Media during a media briefing in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We have some transitioning to do and we’ll do that over time.
“That’s not to say, and I certainly don’t want to leave the perception, that those 19 people who are not here as of today or next week weren’t making a contribution,” she continued. “Every one of those people had a role to play and were making a valuable contribution to the organization. And now that means we now may have to switch priorities, but that’s, I think, normal business inside of any type of organization.”
The elimination of the positions is expected to save approximately $1.2 million.
“Some times in order to be able to make redistribution work, when you reduce on one side you have to increase somewhere else and in our particular circumstances we are eliminating 19 positions but also creating four new to offset some of that,” Goodyear added.
“The new positions will take some of the responsibilities, but obviously not all of it,” she said. “There will be some redistribution and refocusing and that will take us a while to get all the nuances of that sorted out.”
“We certainly have an intent as to what we’re going to be doing there but primarily up to now this has been the work of our senior executive team. So, what we’d like to do is take a little bit of time and talk to some of those closer.”
“There’s still room for a little bit of flexibility, not in terms of numbers, but in redistributing roles and responsibilities so we can do some fine tuning.”
Today’s announcement comes as Central Health continues what Goodyear terms ongoing efforts to find operational improvements.
“Its an ongoing process ... Certainly within Central Health we have made several announcements in the past on operational improvement and we’ve been strongly focused on that since 2013,” she continued. “That process never stopped and will be ongoing for the foreseeable future and we’ll keep searching for where we can bring tools into our organization to help our managers be better equipped to do their work.”
The changes were made with a view to minimizing effect on front line services.
“Whatever changes we make we always have a primary focus — on frontline delivery,” Goodyear said. “That’s something we try and guard and protect as much as we can.”
As to considerations for maintaining positions in subregions, that’s not really in the picture regarding this change.
‘You’ve heard us talk about our beds and there might be beds in Springdale or Brookfield, but they’re not allotted for the people who live in those communities,” she explained. “They serve the region and we have to make the best use of them and so that’s really the perspective we brought here as well.”
“It just happens that because of the way we are structured that there are more management positions in Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander than there would be distributed in our rural sites,” she noted. “When we look at access to services we look at accessibility in that people can access the service wherever they live in the region, but in this regard it really was about how can we continue to get the work done.”
The changes were communicated electronically to community stakeholders (including municipal leaders), and there was individual follow up to that over the following days, said Goodyear.
“The new positions will take some of the responsibilities, but obviously not all of it. There will be some redistribution and refocusing and that will take us a while to get all the nuances of that sorted out.” Rosemary Goodyear
Central Health president and CEO Rosemarie Goodyear spoke with TC Media last week to discuss changes to the organization’s management structure.