MORE JOBS GO UNDER THE KNIFE AT QHC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19th, 2015
(QUEEN’S PARK) – The provincial budget squeeze claimed more victims today as the knife fell on 162 jobs at Quinte Healthcare. The changes have to be approved by the board, but would come into effect on April 1 of next year if not significantly altered. For Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith, it’s another round of Quinte’s least favourite news story.
“Last year it was an 8.5 million dollar shortfall, this year it’s an 11.5 million dollar shortfall.” Smith stated. “And every time the provincial government comes up with less money for Quinte Healthcare, we end up seeing staff reductions at local hospitals. Eventually, they’re going to be trying to get blood from a stone.”
The reductions announced today effect three hospitals in the region but will hit heaviest in Belleville and Trenton where the expected net job losses will be 49 and 29. Prince Edward County, the smallest of the three hospitals affected today, will see a net loss of six positions.
“We’ve seen a troubling cycle emerge the last couple of years,” Smith added. “In the case of Picton and Trenton, we’ve seen services moved first and then we’ve seen staffing cuts come after. The Ministry of Health keeps saying that they’re trying to move care into the community but on the ground it looks like they’re trying to move healthcare out of the community.”
A report by the Auditor General this year looked at the Community Care system in Ontario showed that 40 percent of the money that was supposed to be going into homecare in Ontario was actually going into backrooms and administration. A figure, Smith says, is unjustifiably high.
“There is simply too much bureaucracy at the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Ministry of Health. So what we are witnessing are job cuts at our hospitals and cuts to hours in community care too.” Smith concluded. “When 40 percent of the money is being hung up in administration, how much of it could have gone to a person who sees a patient in Belleville, Trenton or Picton. That’s where real healthcare happens.”