COVID broke RVH’s ten-year streak of balanced books

Increased expenses due to fighting the pandemic, but it is expected the government will step in

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) fiscal year-end doesn’t come about until the end of March, 2021, but officials already know the books won’t be balanced by then.

” RVH has invested heavily in our pandemic response and, after 10 years of balanced budgets, we were unable to deliver a balanced budget to our Board of Directors,” said RVH President and CEO Janice Skot. “While that fiscal position is uncomfortable, we are not unique; all hospitals are facing similar challenges.  It’s impossible to predict the financial impact of the pandemic because we the path of the pandemic remains so uncertain.”

There have been plenty of expenses to cover to date. “With the provincial government’s support, in Wave 1 of the pandemic we hired over 120 specialists, including nurses, respiratory therapists, infection control specialists and cleaners to ensure we could respond quickly and safely to COVID-19. We introduced many new safety precautions, introduced screeners, reconfigured spaces, added critical care bed capacity, built a 70-bed field hospital, opened beds at the IOOF Seniors’ Home, supported our LTC partners with screening and staffing and, after pausing scheduled surgeries at the beginning of the pandemic, continue to ramp-up procedures.”

Skot adds she expects the elected officials will step up and help with any financial shortcomings. “The government is well aware of the significant impact on hospitals and we’re confident that COVID costs incurred will be fully reimbursed,” she concluded.