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Sudbury hospital boss: new beds not enough

The North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has maintained that 152 new long term care beds  now starting to open 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 for those patients.  "We're in the fog here with regards to that," said Roy.  The LHIN hasn't said yes or no.

The Star reports that, regardless, the hospital is going ahead with plans to open several new clinics at its Memorial site, to provide more out-patient services, in the hope of reducing in-patient and ER services.

The hospital also plans 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.  CUPE Local president Dave Shelefontiuk points out the "40- 75" bed plan is a reduction from an earlier plan for 75 beds

The  future looks rough.  For the first time, the hospital  is reportedly using "zero-based budgeting" for 2011-12.  The budget planning process will start from scratch and question every activity and every line item.

The hospital ran a $5 million deficit (on a $383 million budget) for the fiscal year 2009/10, and it will remain unclear until June whether the hospital balanced its budget in 2010-11, according to the Star.  


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