Summary of MRHA Board of Directors October 29, 2007 Board Meeting

The Miramichi Regional Health Authority Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on October 29, 2007 at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. The following are highlights of the meeting:

1. Financial Summary

The Miramichi Regional Health Authority ended the month of August with a five month operating deficit of $1.2 million. Contributing factors of the deficit include costs associated with a high hospital occupancy rate, and medical staff resources such as locums, moving, and relocation grants.

2. Recruitment Update – Internist recruited

In his report to the board, President and CEO Gary Foley provided a recruitment update. He was pleased to inform them that an internist from South Africa has accepted an offer and is expected to arrive over the next few months. Recruitment is ongoing for family physicians, radiologists and internists.

It was also reported that a school career exploration day for all grade 10 students within the health region would be held in mid-November at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. Over the four days, approximately 750 students will be toured throughout the hospital. This recruitment initiative will inform youth in the region about the many career opportunities available within the health authority.

3. Proposal being developed to address the high number of alternate level of care patients in hospital

A proposal is being developed to address the ongoing issue of the large number of alternate level of care patients occupying acute medical care beds in the Miramichi Regional Hospital. Upon completion, it will be presented to the department of health for consideration.

For the last two years, an average of 25-30 alternate level of care patients have occupied acute care medical beds while waiting either for assessment or placement in an alternate setting such as a nursing home or special care home. This is the equivalent of one patient care unit in the hospital. Historically, these pressures were experienced during the flu season however there are no longer relief periods.

4. Additional initiatives taken to improve service in both official languages

The Francophone Liaison committee reported that several successful projects were initiated over the summer months to improve service in both official languages. The brochure developed by the Conseil communautaire Beausoleil in partnership with the Miramichi Regional Health Authority informing the community that bilingual health services are available in the region has been positively received by the community. An active offer kit was distributed to managers throughout the health authority reiterating the policy. It has received positive feedback within the organization as well as provincial recognition. Enrolment in French Language training has also been high with 123 employees taking courses and/or tutoring.

5. Update on Smoke Free Properties policy

The Professional Advisory Committee reported that the implementation of the smoke free properties policy is going well. The departments of psychiatry and addictions have experienced some challenges with implementation of the policy however are supporting their clients by providing them with education and offering nicotine replacement therapy. The number of clients leaving the building to smoke and incidents related to smoking are being monitored.

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