NHS Grampian is looking to make more than £18 million in savings this year, new figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that “in order to deliver a balanced financial position in 2016/17” the health board has to save £18.5m.
The Scottish Government requires health boards to make some kind of savings every year and NHS Grampian is now looking to cut back around 1.77% of it’s total revenue budget.
This money can be reinvested by NHS Grampian bosses into other areas.
Some ways the board is looking to cut costs include issuing medicine more effectively and sharing staff with other health boards.
Health bosses also want to sell-off any properties they deem to be surplus to requirements as a way of saving money.
Other plans include trying to reduce the use of “expensive locum medical staff” as well as “bank and agency” nurses in a bid to balance its books.
As previously reported in the Evening Express, more than £13 million was spent on agency doctors and nurses in NHS Grampian between April and December 2015.
This was a “significant increase” on the total spend for the whole of 2014/15, which was around £9m.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “Maintaining high quality patient care and frontline services will always be our top priority and, while it is challenging to meet increasing demand within our existing budget, we have an excellent track record of delivering the financial targets set for us.
“In the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Grampian delivered savings of £24.9m and we remain committed to delivering services as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
“Those savings will also be delivered while maintaining our commitment to recruiting extra staff and the recently announced £300m investment in new or additional facilities across Grampian.
“Our Local Delivery Plan has also changed significantly in order to reflect the important role the new integrated Health and Social Care Partnerships play in delivering local services.”
An SNP spokesman added: “All health boards have an expectation of delivering efficiency savings each year to ensure that public money is being spent as effectively as possible.
“Every penny saved through efficiency savings is reinvested in front-line services in NHS Grampian.
“Scotland’s NHS receives record funding and has a record number of staff under the SNP – and we’ll ensure frontline spending continues to increase in real terms in each year of the next parliament.”