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QHC response to mayor: six fewer staff, but same beds and cafeteria closing

Following his letter requesting the QHC board not support more cuts to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, Mayor Robert Quaiff has learned PECMH will also lose its cafeteria.

With the change, people are to be directed to the next door medical clinic where auxiliary volunteers operate a coffee shop.

“Once again a little more of our community is being stripped of who we are,” said Quaiff. “We are losing our sense of community a little at a time. The auxiliary members are volunteers at the medical clinic that has limited hours of operation.”

QHC was handed a funding formula shortfall of $11.5 million for 2016/2017. Late last month week, it was announced 84 positions are being cut at the three local hospitals – six from PECMH.

The mayor pleaded the case of the County noting as a rural, non-growth area, suffers at the expense of high growth areas in the flawed hospital funding formula. He also noted the County has one of the highest populations of seniors in Ontario.

“The correlation between age and the use of medical services is extremely high and the province is putting our most vulnerable population at risk by consistently reducing services.”

CEO Mary Clare Egberts, at last month’s meeting, defended calls to cut from the top, noting QHC management is lean – having eliminated seven positions last year and five this year. QHC states it has fewer managment per staff than 90 per cent of Ontario hospitals.

The response letter, from board chair Tricia Anderson, stated that “although there is a proposed reduction of six staff positions (three full-time and three part-time) in Picton, the overall services and number of beds at the hospital are remaining the same.”

She said “other hospitals have been continuing to gain further efficiencies within their organizations, potentially causing us to fall further behind in comparison, which will negatively impact QHC in the Ministry of Health hospital funding formula in future years.

“Therefore, after a thorough review the quality impact and risk mitigation, the QHC board voted to endorse the proposed 2016/17 operating plan in principle, in order for management to continue the staff planning
process with the unions.

“The only change that would be noticed by patients and visitors is that cafeteria food would need to be purchased from the Auxiliary Coffee Shop in the adjacent medical building, as we can no longer subsidize the current cafeteria within the hospital.”

She stated that “given the very low volume of less than $50 of gross sales per day, this will not be a significant impact to many staff and visitors.

“Keep in mind that once these staffing changes are implemented, we will be at the provincial median benchmark across almost all departments at QHC. This means that half the hospitals in Ontario are already providing the same level of service within this funding level or with even more efficiency.

“While the health system transformation continues to be difficult for hospitals, we know our staff and physicians can rise to this challenge in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our health care system.”

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  1. Marilyn says:

    Sandwiches are made fresh as you order and are very moderately priced. We are not a restaurant and therefore do not have the facilities to make everything (baking) fresh. We welcome feedback from anyone who has suggestions and we try to accommodate all requests. The coffee shop is staffed by volunteers and we try to make your visit a pleasant experience.

  2. Emily says:

    Personaly I wouldn’t eat in a hospital unless admitted and had to. Hospitals are the 5 star resort for infectious disease. Best to stay right away from them unless you have no choice.

  3. Fred says:

    Wevil; Belleville General is our hospital to.

  4. wevil says:

    you were doing less than $50 in sales because there was nothing there worth buying you want everything in Belleville and to hell with the others

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