The Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) Joint Authority Board has discussed the preparation of the 2024 budget and outlined the next steps in the process. The guiding principle for next year's budget will be a break-even outcome, implying a need to balance approximately 52 million euros. Despite the challenging financial situation, staff benefits will be maintained at the 2023 level. Similarly, HUS's own research funding will remain at the same level as 2023.
The budget preparation will continue with the development of a balancing program. This matter will be discussed again in the HUS Joint Authority Board meeting on September 11, 2023. The actual reviews of the budget proposal will take place in the Joint Authority Board meetings on October 23, 2023, and November 13, 2023. Following these meetings, the budget will be presented for approval at the HUS Joint Assembly meeting scheduled for December 14, 2023.
Increasing Demand in Specialized Medical Care
From January to June 2023, the number of non-urgent referrals increased by 8.1% compared to the previous year. Additionally, the number of patients waiting for treatment for over six months increased by 293 individuals in May and June. The median waiting time for access to treatment was 72 days.
The Joint Authority Board expects a report to be presented at the September 11 meeting, detailing the measures to be taken in order to bring the treatment queues at HUS in line with the requirements of the law.
Reduced Staff Turnover and Absences
Staff turnover decreased during the period from January to June 2023 compared to the previous year. Similarly, sick leaves decreased for the entire staff compared to the previous year.
For the January-June 2023 period, operating revenues fell short of the budget by 2.6% (38.4 million euros), while operating costs exceeded the budget by 0.5% (6.7 million euros). The cost overrun was attributed to personnel expenses, which exceeded the budget by 1.8% (13.8 million euros), while other expenses remained below the budget. The excess in personnel costs was due to larger than anticipated wage increases.
The realized result for the fiscal period from January to June 2023 showed a deficit of 30.1 million euros, which was 42.1 million euros weaker than the budgeted outcome (TA 1-6/2023 +12.0 million euros).