Rainycrest looking to reduce costs

Rainycrest Home for the Aged’s board of management is looking into options to reduce operational costs at the long-term care facility, including the possibility of privatization.
“The basic problem is that our expenses continue to increase and we can’t continue to proceed in that direction,” said board chair Dennis Brown. “We’re looking at a lot of options for Rainycrest.”
Administrator Jill Colquhoun said they are investigating ways to reduce costs to the supporting municipalities while continuing to provide quality long-term care to the citizens of the Rainy River District.
“We have approached the unions and continue to look forward to opportunities to work with members in reducing our costs,” Colquhoun explained. “The option of collaborating with a health care facility is being considered, as is the option of privatization of the home.”
Should the board decide privatization is the best option, they would require approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Brown noted.
“If we can see a light at the end of the tunnel where the expenses are curtailed, or reduced, or brought down some way, maybe we’ll proceed just as is,” he said. “But municipalities have increased their levy this year 12.5 percent and that’s not enough. We’re still probably going to have a deficit budget.”
Municipalities are currently contributing about $1.2 million to Rainycrest every year, Brown added.
Colquhoun stressed that the board is in an investigative stage, and that no formal decisions have been made.
There are presently about 70 district residents on the waiting list for placement at Rainycrest, she added. The board is continuing to lobby the government for additional beds for the home, which until 2003 had 150 residents.
Rainycrest now has 135 long-term beds and 10 temporary beds.