The Cypress Health Region approved their 2017/18 operating and capital budgets this week.

The operating budget totals $144,100,000 for the coming year. The breakdown of the operating budget can be seen in the graphic below, provided by the Cypress Health Region.

CHR Op Budget 2017 18

Larry Allsen, CEO and CFO of the health region, explains despite the looming amalgamation to one provincial health authority, some uncertainty regarding that timeline has led to the region budgeting for the whole year.

"We don't know when the amalgamation is going to happen. We heard October, and now we're hearing December. We don't know - maybe it's going to be March. Who knows, so we budgeted for the full year. As we move forward, we'll probably start budgeting around August for the provincial health authority which will bring all the regions to put that big budget together. But we've all budgeted our own regions keeping in mind that we don't know what's happening."

For the 2017/18 In addition to the operating budget, the Cypress Health Region also approved $17,808,000 capital budget for the coming year.

Primarily in the capital budget are new facility construction projects, including The Meadows in Swift Current and Leader. Construction makes up $14,512,000 of the budget. Rounding out the capital budget will be an amount of $2,392,000 for equipment, $756,000 for minor renovations, and $148,000 for mortgage payments.

A particular, and well-documented challenge from this year's budget was the need to meet the Ministry of Health's requirements for the budget moving forward to one provincial health authority. Those requirements called for $9,239,000 in efficiencies to be made for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

"We have worked very hard throughout this year’s budget process to meet our $9,239,000 reduction target while trying to maintain program and service levels. We owe a lot of thanks to our staff that has done everything they can to find efficiencies which has resulted in surpluses for the past several years. It is because of this strong fiscal management that we are able to pull from our reserves in a challenging budget year like this year," added Allsen.

With the nearly eight-figure reduction coming off the books this year, the Cypress Health Region's unrestricted surplus was accessed. Use of the surplus will leave less than $300,000 available for other capital needs as they arise. Before transitioning to the new provincial health authority, the reserve will be depleted.

The recent Cypress Health Region board-approved 2017/18 operating and capital budgets will now be submitted to the Ministry of Health.

More Local News is Swift Current's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.