Southern Health-Santé Sud ended the last fiscal year in a break-even position financially.
That is what the Regional Lead of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer announced to the public at last week's 11th annual general meeting.
"It was a great year for Southern Health," says Ainsley Wiebe.
For 2022/23, Southern Health had a total balanced budget of $435 million. Wiebe says when the dust settled, the regional health authority ended the year with a capital deficit of $29 million, but an operating surplus of zero.
Wiebe explains that they have to report their operating and capital together. She notes the $29 million deficit was fully capital related.
Wiebe says the way Southern Health was able to get to a break-even position, is because Manitoba Health was willing to fund them their net COVID needs.
"We did need some COVID funding to cover obviously some COVID expenses," she explains. "So, they funded us exactly what we needed to get to zero."
Wiebe says the aim of the Board of Directors each year is obviously to end the year in a balanced position. She notes rarely are they able to achieve exactly that.
"So, 2022/23 may be an anomaly year that we could get to exactly zero, but that is always the aim of finance and our board and the management that help us get there," says Wiebe. "We present a zero-based budget and hope that we'll end our operating year in that position or maybe a small surplus. Those would be our goals for a typical year."
As mentioned, Southern Health budgeted $435 million in expenses but ended the year with $460 million in expenses.
"So, you may wonder why there was a jump in our budget versus what our actual expenses ended up being," notes Wiebe. "We had a number of collective agreement settlements we had to work through that came in mid-year as well as some other health human resource incentives that were passed directly onto our staff for the good work that they've been doing."
Even though Southern Health exceeded its budgeted expenses, Wiebe again credits the relief funding from Manitoba Health and the province of Manitoba for the additional revenue.
She notes all things considered, 2022/23 was a good year.
"We were very happy with the final outcome from a financial perspective, from a patient and resident care perspective which is obviously the number one goal of health care," adds Wiebe. "But the diligence of all our teammates in health, from managers and frontline staff to our finance team, we were able to consider it a very successful year for 22/23."
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