In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Health is limiting the number of visitors allowed at its facilities, including G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel, effective March 18. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer file photo)

Regional hospital finances in “solid territory” despite pandemic

The Cariboo Regional District’s CFO, Kevin Erickson, gave an update on finances Aug. 21

The Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District isn’t coming out unscathed from COVID-19, but it’s finances are in good shape to whether the storm.

That’s according to the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) chief financial officer, Kevin Erickson.

“We’re looking at a shortfall of about $1.2 million over what was budgeted,” he said. “That’s not really a big concern, because we have cash on hand, we’re very liquid.”

Erickson said the change was mostly due to a drop in interest rates.

The board also heard the $1.2 million dollar projection is probably an overestimation of the difference.

Many major projects were put on hold due to COVID-19, and Erickson said when building the new projections, he assumed they would happen in the second half of the year.

“I took a very pessimistic view of things,” he said. “I assumed assessment values would stall out in 2022. I held everything constant in terms of budgeted expenses.”

Even with that negative view, the district is on track for stability in the medium-term.

“The good news is that the $70 per 100,000 residential assessment is sufficient to carry the day,” Erickson said. “The only other adjustment that’s needed is an additional $500,000 borrowing. We’d already anticipated $3 million in borrowing in 2024.”

Erickson said the district was well positioned to handle COVID-19 financially.

“We’re taking a bit of a hit in cash flow, but the hospital district is in solid territory,” Erickson said.

READ MORE: Multi-million dollar project to breathe new life into G.R. Baker Hospital

READ MORE: Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

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