10/30/10

Layoff cost $8.2 million at Peterborough Hospital

Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) has announced that it will spend $8.2 million on severance and early retirement packages. The hospital is cutting over 280 jobs as part of the provincial government's hospital funding squeeze.

With another $600,000 spent on retraining, the hospital's 2010-11 deficit will double to $17.8 million.

PRHC president and CEO Ken Tremblay notes that the provincial government has sometimes given funding to help with one-time costs such as early retirement and severance packages when a hospital is cutting its deficit. "We haven't turned it into an ask, but we've certainly declared that the pressures that we face are significant...We're hopeful but ... the fiscal recovery plan contemplates that we self-finance this restructuring and we'll see how this progresses with each successive meeting with the LHIN."

To cut costs, the hospital is driving down the average length of stay at the hospital. Length of stay in the medicine department was cut from 6.9 days in 2009-10 to to 5.7 days, a 17% cut. Acute care stays were reduced from 4.4 days to 3.9, an 11% cut.

The Peterborough Health Coalition notes that a report on the quality of care from the hospital is lacking and calls for patient care to be the first priority.  The Coalition is calling for a report on patient satisfaction. The Coalition does, however, see an improvement in hospital transparency at the PRHC (open) board meeting on October 27.


dallan@cupe.ca

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