Newfoundland and Labrador health and academic officials say consolidating the province’s four regional health authorities into one could be a good thing, but questions remain.
The plan to bring health authorities together was announced in the 2022 provincial budget, a plan that Finance Minister Siobhan Coady says will streamline processes and improve things like decision-making, data management and more. Again.
The idea was also put forward in the Prime Minister’s Economic Recovery Team Report – also known as the Greene Report – in 2021.
Yvette Coffey, president of the province’s registered nurses’ union, said she’s happy to see additional spending in the province’s health care budget, but knows her members will have concerns about moving to one. health authority.
“Our members will have a lot of questions about this, what does this mean for them, will there be job losses,” Coffey told CBC News on Friday.
“We hope there will be a transition and a discussion with stakeholders … to ensure that there is a worker perspective on all decisions that are made.”
The provincial government says it’s too early to tell if the move to a single health authority will result in job losses.
The faculties of medicine of the MUN will also consolidate
Coady also announced on Thursday that the provincial government would consolidate post-secondary medical programs, including pharmacy and nursing, under one province-wide health faculty – which initially caught the president of the college off guard. Memorial University, Vianne Timmons.
“If there were any conversations, they weren’t with me, which is very possible because we’re a big, comprehensive university,” Timmons said Friday.
Timmons’ thinking was correct, according to a statement from the Department of Education. The department said budget officials paid courtesy calls to various members of Memorial’s executive, including the academic vice president and the dean of the medical school.
Timmons said conversations with faculty deans and the school board will begin to see if the government’s vision can be a reality, but further partnership with government is important.
“I definitely see the benefits, but there are also challenges,” she said.
“For example, every discipline, people are attached to their discipline. They are very focused, they train in their discipline. So we want to make sure that we maintain the ability to ensure that our nursing students are educated in the nursing profession…same for pharmacy students.”
Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association president Dr. Susan MacDonald said she was cautiously optimistic about the idea, but the devil is in the details.
“I trained in a system where all these schools were under the Faculty of Health Sciences, and it seemed to work relatively well, but I was a student, so what did I know?” she said Thursday.
“I don’t know how it’s going to pan out. And I’d love to see a lot more detail about it. I think everything about students from various faculties working together, training and learning together, because they are going to train together, there are advantages to that.”
Education Minister Tom Osborne said on Thursday he believed progress on merging faculties could be made in 2022 or 2023, but Timmons would not comment on a timetable.
Coffey hopes to learn how other healthcare programs, like College of the North Atlantic’s nursing programs, fit into the picture, but said she can see the benefits of a collaborative approach.
“We are cautiously optimistic that this will create more of a team approach to healthcare by bringing them all together under one title, one school. And that each group will no longer be in silos, but formed as a team-based approach. health, which is what we are looking for when we talk about primary health care models.”
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