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QHC board approves draft plan

NOV. 25 – UPDATE – QHC board members approved the draft 2016-2017 operating plan in principle. Changes are possible as the corporation and unions continue meeting in December. Final approval is expected in January for implementation in April.

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NOV. 19 – Quinte Health Care (QHC) employees are awaiting word on job losses and changes.

QHC needs to remove $11.5 million in expenses next year in order to operate within reduced funding levels and cover inflation. This includes a $7 million reduction in administration/support departments and $4.5 million in patient care areas, said Susan Rowe, Senior Director, Communications, QHC, in a release Thursday morning.

President and CEO Mary Clare Egberts said there are some changes to clinical services and access to care across the hospitals, but the vast majority of the proposed changes for 2016/17 are related to staffing levels and efficiencies in almost every area of QHC.

If the proposed changes are fully implemented, there would be 84 fewer positions at QHC.
The release explains the proposed changes would eliminate 162 positions and add 78 new positions. Of the 162 positions, 38 are already vacant. Of the 78 new positions, 48 can be used for automatic reassignments and the remaining 30 can be used for other reassignment opportunities or job postings.

“These changes are extremely difficult for everyone at QHC and we are focused on supporting our staff through this stressful process,” said Egberts. “Unfortunately it is not possible to remove another $11.5 million from our organization without reducing the number of staff positions, but as always, our goal is to manage this as much as possible through attrition, retirements and offering different positions where possible so that we can minimize the number of valued staff who need to leave QHC involuntarily.”

On Nov. 24, the QHC Board of Directors will consider the proposed operating plan for approval in principal, subject to any changes from the union staff planning process. Final Board approval is to be in January 2016. The changes would then start to be implemented in April 2016.

“The unions meetings this week are part of the continuing process and we are sharing information as we have it,” said Egberts.

The process to identify the savings began in May and included two phases of community engagement with input gathered from more than 1,500 people.

“Community members told us in the spring that their top priorities for hospital care were 24-hour emergency rooms, inpatient beds and basic diagnostics,” said Tricia Anderson, QHC Board Chair. “We have been able to commit to keeping these key services close-to-home.”

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