The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) continues to develop initiatives to deal with a projected $17 million budget shortfall in 2013-2014, which is a result of changes to the provincial funding formula for hospitals and inflationary costs.
All Ontario hospitals are required to develop an annual Operating Plan, which outlines the activities undertaken during the fiscal year (April 1 – March 30). Through the development of the 2013-2014 TSH Operating Plan, 136 initiatives have been identified to achieve a balanced budget, while maintaining set targets for the delivery of hospital services. The initiatives, developed with extensive input from hospital leaders (physicians and administration), are in line with the Provincial Government’s Action Plan for Health Care.
On March 27, the Central East Local Health Integration Network (CELHIN) Board directed a review of the 136 initiatives contained in the 2013-2014 Operating Plan. As a result of that review, TSH will now move ahead with 111 expense-reduction initiatives contained in TSH’s CELHIN approved Accountability Agreement. By implementing the initiatives, effective immediately, TSH will realize approximately $9.2 million in savings. Of the remaining Operating Plan initiatives, the CELHIN has requested additional details on four initiatives and 10 are on hold. All 11 revenue generating initiatives are being implemented. The hospital will also be implementing across the organization budget reductions.
The Scarborough Hospital continues to consult with its internal and external partners to obtain input and feedback on initiatives to balance its budget. This includes consultation with the Community Advisory Council, Fiscal Advisory Committee, union leadership, program leaders, including physicians, hospital staff, and community healthcare organizations and partners.
The Operating Plan initiatives are not connected with the proposed changes to Maternal Newborn and Surgery programs developed through the Strategic Plan Refresh. Through CELHIN Board motions on March 27, there is a process underway to review those two proposed changes.
As a result of the initiatives, hospital administration met with union leaders to provide notice that 98 positions will be eliminated. The actual impact is 31 due to voluntary exit packages and elimination of vacant positions.
“Our focus continues to be on providing high-quality and safe care for our patients,” said Dr. John Wright,
President/CEO, The Scarborough Hospital. “How we deliver that care is changing.”
“Telling our staff of position eliminations was not an easy message for us to deliver, nor is it an easy message for our staff to receive. We knew that positions would be eliminated and implemented a number of pro-active strategies; therefore, the actual impact is 31,” says Wright.
He added that the human resources team will work with the unions to respect the collective agreement process and, in accordance with the collective agreement language, the hospital must issue lay-off notices. The receipt of a lay-off notice starts a several months-long process that may, or may not, result in the person who receives the notice being laid off. The hospital currently has 70 unfilled positions. The hospital will support staff with ongoing training and development, and encourage those affected by lay-offs to consider skills upgrading and skill changes so that they may continue at TSH, if possible.