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Riverside given budget extension

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Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. has been given another extension for submitting its budget to the Ministry of Health, it was announced at the regular monthly board meeting here last Thursday night.

“The Ministry of Health had originally required us to submit our budget on Feb. 1,” noted Riverside CEO Wayne Woods. “Then it was extended to March 1 upon request.

“Now the deadline’s been extended indefinitely due to new funding coming in from the federal budget,” he added.

The federal budget, outlined Feb. 16 by Finance minister Paul Martin, will see billions of additional dollars go into health care which, Woods enthused, would be a boon to the Riverside.

“While we don’t know how much of this new funding will be coming our way, we are pleased we’ll be able to fill in some of the ‘gaps,’” he said.

Although Woods would not identify what those “gaps” were specifically, “we will be addressing our own internal issues,” he noted.

“Over the past year, budget cuts have spread the staff pretty thin,” Woods admitted. “Maybe now we can do something about it.”

But he warned the amount of funding allotted in the budget was not yet known.

Another item on the agenda of last week’s meeting was a “Y2K” update. Riverside has been testing its equipment for the past several months to find out how it would be affected by the so-called “millennium bug.”

“It’s coming along well,” Woods noted.

“We’re done analyzing about half of what has to be checked,” he added. “We’ve identified a number of pieces of equipment that will have to be dealt with, and we’ve addressed that.”

Details as to what needed to be upgraded, and the cost of doing so, were not available.

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