The hospital's CEO Mary Clare Egberts told The Intelligencer that the cuts weren't in keeping with QHC's new "patient-first" strategy but a lack of provincial funding leaves few options.
The Intelligencer adds that QHC will also reduce physiotherapy for outpatients at all four of its hospital sites effective November 1 and is looking for other ways to cut costs (e.g. reducing sick pay, overtime, and supplies).
The nearby Perth & Smith Falls District Hospital is planning to cut 12 beds, along with a wide range of other services (e.g. housekeeping) to deal with its funding shortfall. Departments have been told to cut 6%.
In Sudbury, there was no relief for Health Sciences North from its recent "peer review". With the loss of 30 beds earlier this year for non-acute ("ALC") patients, the number of ALC patients occupying acute care beds has more than doubled, causing major back-ups at the hospital.
|Dave Shelefontiuk speaks to the Sudbury Star|
The peer review simply gives up any hope that new long term care (LTC) beds will be created -- despite noting that 67% of the ALC patients are waiting for LTC beds. The review doesn't even consider the thought of more non-acute beds in the hospital -- although the next biggest chunk of ALC patients are waiting for just those hospital services. At best, the peer review suggested that the closure of 30 more beds serving ALC patients be put off for a few months (and even this was dismissed by the hospital). Food services are one key area flagged by the peer review for further cuts.
CUPE Local 1623 president Dave Shelefontiuk notes that not one CUPE member was consulted by the peer review.
Bottom line: as elsewhere, services are going to be squeezed more at HSN.