For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2010
(LONDON, Ontario) – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London (St. Joseph’s) remain in the challenging position of planning for the F2010/11 budget in the absence of any information regarding annual funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
LHSC budget target is approximately $33M in savings for F2010/11 and approximately $17M at St. Joseph’s. In order to balance the hospitals’ budgets, both LHSC and St. Joseph’s are implementing savings strategies, some of which involve staffing reductions as of April 1, 2010. However, the hospitals have not yet moved forward with plans that would reduce patient care volumes as per accountability agreements with the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
“LHSC and St. Joseph’s remain focused on providing access to quality patient care while also making responsible financial and operating decisions,” said Cliff Nordal, President and Chief Executive Officer, LHSC and St. Joseph’s. “We have consulted with the LHIN on these initiatives and will continue to do so as we move forward”.
Strategies in three areas; cost avoidance, revenue generation and improvement efficiencies, were approved by both the LHSC and the St. Joseph’s Board of Directors. In December and January senior hospital officials met with union leaders to advise them of anticipated staffing impacts. These strategies must be implemented to meet budget requirements and ensure both LHSC and St. Joseph’s are operating as efficiently as possible when compared to other peer hospitals in Ontario. Many of the strategies involve process improvements and service delivery model changes.
At LHSC thirty-four (34) notices of layoff are being issued this week. At St. Joseph’s, twenty–nine (29) staff members received notice of lay-off in January. These are six month notices, which afford staff members, unions and hospital leaders to work together to reduce actual job joss through steps including attrition, early retirements, and vacancies. The actual number of people who will involuntarily leave the hospitals will not be known until these steps are completed.
Finally, with hospital operational costs anticipated to rise by more than 4%, and possible funding increases somewhere between 0% and a maximum of only 2%, LHSC and St. Joseph’s may also be required to achieve additional targets that will reduce patient care volumes.
“Because the funding situation remains very ambiguous, it is difficult to finalize the impact of implementing additional savings strategies on our hospitals and patients. Clearly the obvious impacts would unfortunately include additional bed closures and cancelling surgeries which would create longer wait lists and additional job losses,” said Cliff Nordal.
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from close to 6,000 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500 ext 77062
After 4:00pm call (519) 685-8500
Communication and Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London
519-646-6100 ext 42679
After 4:00pm call (519) 646-6100