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Province names Fraser Health review team to probe budget woes

Fraser Health board chair David Mitchell and Northern Health board chair Dr. Charles Jago have been named to co-chair a review committee looking into Fraser Health
Fraser Health board chair David Mitchell and Northern Health board chair Dr. Charles Jago have been named to co-chair a review committee looking into Fraser Health's operations.
— image credit: File

Health Minister Terry Lake has named a nine-member review committee to probe why Fraser Health struggles to keep spending within its budget.

The committee co-chairs are existing Fraser board chair David Mitchell and Northern Health board chair Dr. Charles Jago.

Other members include Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich, Vancouver Coastal CEO Dr. David Ostrow, the finance minister's assistant deputy minister Chris Brown, the health minister's associate deputy minister Elaine McKnight,  plus three more health care executives from Interior Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

The group meets for the first time later this month and is expected to identify potential operational changes by May.

NDP health critic Judy Darcy urged the review committee to provide some opportunity for public input, especially if it's going to lead to significant cost cutting and service impacts.

"The people – patients and their families – have a right to have a say in this," she said.

Fraser is expected to need a cash infusion over and above its $3 billion budget this year to meet demand – the third year in a row of cost overruns despite budget increases averaging six per cent a year.

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