HALIFAX – The costs of merging 10 district health authorities into two health authorities skyrocketed to $9.07 million in the fiscal year 2014-15.
The total cost was released in an access to information request obtained by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union.
READ MORE: Nova Scotia passes bill merging health authorities effective Wednesday
Last September when the bill legislating the merger was introduced, the government projected the merger would cost roughly $6 million, now it’s $3 million more than originally projected.
“The Liberals withheld the real costs of the health merger. Now they are cutting real services to pay for it,” said PC Leader Jamie Baillie.
“Either they didn’t know the actual costs of the merger or they tried to hide it. It’s time for the Premier to tell us which it is.”
The document shows $5.7 million was spent on severance for the executives of the district health authorities. Another $3.3 million was spent on consolidating the different IT systems of nine district health authorities into one. Meantime, $873,000 was spent on consultants and experts including mediation and communications consultants.
In a press release the Nova Scotia NDP criticized the government for the costs of the merger.
“When the Liberals announced this plan, they were warned it would create turmoil and lead to unintended costs and that’s exactly what happened,” said NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson in an emailed press release.
At time of publication, requests for comment from the Health Department went unanswered.