October 18, 2006

Annual General Meeting Recap

Common sense or intuition should be the guide when drafting health care policy, Dr. Colleen Flood told an audience of more than 100 at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Annual General Meeting October 17th.

The University of Toronto professor was the keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was entitled "The Holy Grail of Quality, Sustainability and Accessibility . . . and Getting Health Services and Policy Research out of the Ivory Towers"

She said that "challenging questions and solutions" are key to ensuring a sustainable health care system and that is both accessible and of high quality.

The AGM also saw the release of the WRHA's 2005/06 Annual Report. For the first time the region recorded a deficit - amounting to approximately $18 million, or about one per cent of the region's total operating budget.

"But the (deficit isn't) from out-of-control spending," reported the Winnipeg Free Press in its online edition October 18th. "(It) is the result of new accounting that requires health authorities to set up finances as if they could go bankrupt like a private corporation."

The issue is one the region "will negotiate with the provincial government to deal with," CJOB radio quoted WRHA President and CEO Dr. Brian Postl as saying.

"This is not anything that's real or will impact our programs," he added.

"Now, even with the deficit, I'd say, we come in within 1% of our overall budget which is, frankly, a pretty solid performance," Dr. Postl said in an interview on CBC radio during which he also characterized it as a "source of irritation".

The WRHA operates on a pay-as-you go system that "knows well in advance of any approaching pension liabilities," the Free Press concluded.

05/06 Annual Report (English)

05/06 Annual Report (Français)

05/06 Audited Financial Statements

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