Sudbury hospital boss: new beds not enough

The North East LHIN has maintained that 152 new beds at Villa St. Gabriel and Pioneer Manor would be enough to house transitional care patients currently at the Memorial site of Sudbury Regional Hospital. 

But hospital President Dr. Denis Roy told the Sudbury Star, "I'm not sure I can look you in the eyes and say there won't be any patients left" after those 152 beds are filled. "There will be patients left."

But (as usual) it remains unclear who will pick up the tab.  "We're in the fog here with regards to that," said Roy.  The LHIN hasn't said yes or no.

The Star reports that the hospital is going ahead with plans to open several new clinics at its Memorial site, to provide more services on an out-patient basis rather than in hospital or in the emergency department.

The hospital also planned to operate 40-75 surge beds at the Memorial site after transitional patients were transferred to the long term care facilities. Surge beds would be filled by people awaiting some other type of assistance to return home.

The hospital was almost $5 million short on a budget of $383 million for the fiscal year 2009/10 and was given approval to carry over a deficit one year.

It will be a rough ride.  For the first time, the hospital is using "zero-based budgeting":  starting from scratch and questioning every activity and every line item.

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