2/11/13

Hospital cuts in 1.7% to 2.7% range



More hospital savings.

Joanna Frketich reports Hamilton Health Sciences needs to find $20 million to $25 million in savings, while Hamilton St. Joseph's is cutting $10 million to $12 million, and Burlington's Joseph Brant must cut $4 million.  

In total, $34 to $41 million in cuts for Hamilton area hospitals.   

That is in the range of 1.7% to 2.7% of the hospitals' budgets. 

This is on top of earlier cuts.  Over the past year the three hospitals found $30 million in savings.  The government would no doubt focus on the increase in home care funding of $8.7 million -- but even that funding also had to cover Niagara, Haldimand and Brant. It also barely covers the cost pressures of inflation, aging, and population growth, never mind hospital cuts and the squeeze on new long term care beds.

Beatrice Fantoni reports Windsor Regional is laying off 34 Registered Nurses after the province put off over six years its promise to open 58 complex continuing care and rehabilitation beds.  The hospital is now converting 30 acute care beds to complex continuing care, resulting in staffing changes and the layoffs.  The RN layoffs will be partly offset by 17 full time and 13 new part time Registered Practical Nurse positions.   The changes are supposed to save $1 million. 

Windsor has long suffered from bed shortages. 

The five million in cuts reported for Bluewater in Sarnia February 1 may result in the closure of a therapeutic pool (as well as other cuts).  Apparently, such pools are rare in hospitals -- and  the hospital's Chief Operating Officer reports "hospitals can no longer be all things to all people.” 

It seems the media is beginning to doubt the government's suggestion that there are no cuts -- just savings and efficiencies.

Photo: McMaster, Hamilton Health Sciences by Tom Flemming

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