Staff cuts may be necessary to balance books

Some Ontario hospitals are agonizing over cuts to staff and service as they struggle to balance books before an impending zero-deficit deadline.

The Toronto Star has learned the Rouge Valley Health System will cut staff to help ease budget pressures as it negotiates a new two-year budget with the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).


"We are looking at every area of the hospital and no stone will go unturned," Rouge Valley CEO Rik Ganderton wrote in an e-mail to hospital union representatives last week. "There will be staff reductions but the specifics are not yet available," he wrote of the cost-cutting plan, which will be implemented in early April.

A source said Ganderton also told union representatives the cuts would represent $10 million to $20 million, but the time period was unspecified.

Ganderton said in an interview yesterday details of the plan will be made public in late March after it is approved by the Central East LHIN, which oversees funding at the hospital’s three campuses in east Toronto, Ajax and Pickering.

The hospital forecasts a deficit of $6.5 million for fiscal 2007-08, which ends March 31, and owes about $78 million in long-term debt and working capital deficiency.

$33.8M deficit

  • According to a recent peer review of the hospital conducted by the Central East LHIN, the Rouge Valley Health System has balanced its budget just once in the last six years, accumulating a deficit of $33.8 million during that period.

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