The South Bruce Grey Health Centre will consolidate several of its senior management positions in order to address a six-figure deficit this year.
SBGHC CEO Paul Rosebush told The Independent Thursday that the health centre is taking advantage of two upcoming retirements to make adjustments to senior staffing positions that will save more than $200,000 annually. The changes will be effective Feb. 1.
The SBGHC is facing a $125,000 deficit this year as a result of changes to the provincial funding formula for hospitals. The new Health Based Allocation Model, introduced last April, uses a patient-based funding formula. Hospitals receive 40 per cent of their funding based on the number of patients who come through the doors and what are considered to be the clinical needs of the community. A portion of funds is also distributed based on the number of patients who are treated for select procedures, including hip and knee replacements and dialysis. The problem has been that the health centre is being viewed by the province as one centre, rather than four smaller facilities. As a result, the SBGHC lost $215,000 in funding from the province this year. Next year, the cut could be much deeper.
Rosebush said he met with staff this week and explained the situation and the plan to consolidate four senior level positions into two.
“I emphasized that change is necessary and I wanted to cut administrative costs first before we ever, ever looked at services,” he said.
The four executive positions – vice-president of clinical services, vice-president of human resources, vice-president of corporate services and vice-president of finance – will be merged to become two new roles: vice-president of finance and corporate services and vice president of support services and human resources.
Rosebush said there are four nurse leads – one at each hospital – and one will be chosen to take on the support services role, to be the chief nursing official. In an ideal world, he said, the outgoing executives would have been replaced, but the retirements presented a cost-saving opportunity.
Consolidating the senior management positions is just the first phase in a series of changes that could be made at SBGHC to reduce costs in order to balance the budget, Rosebush stressed, if the province continues to make funding cuts. Further changes could come in nine months time.
“I have some ideas in my mind but I need to have some conversations,” he said. “There will be more efficiencies made if there is further funding erosion. There has to be.”
The SBGHC is also working with the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to build a case to convince the province to exempt the health centre from the funding model.