WDMH bucks provincewide trend of job cuts
by Matthew Uhrig
WINCHESTER – Though hospitals in neighbouring centres are trimming
staff numbers, Winchester District Memorial (WDMH) is bucking the
According to CEO Cholly Boland, the village medical facility should remain unscathed.
“We’re not there… It’s tight, but we’re good,” he said during a recent meeting with area media outlets.
Boland credits changes made last year for the sound financial position.
Following five months of consultation, the hospital announced in March
2014 that 14 beds were being cut – nine from the medical/surgical unit
and five from the complex continuing care ward – and nine staff
positions were being eliminated.
No full-time employee lost their job with the changes, while part-time
workers had hours reduced. The hospital’s extended care unit was also
relocated to the inpatient area.
At the time, Boland said nearly $700,000 in savings would be realized
from the adjustments, with the money going against WDMH’s budget
It was a tough decision to make, though the CEO said it strongly positioned the hospital.
The Ottawa Hospital announced last month it would be eliminating 35
full-time jobs as part of a $26-million cost saving effort. Meanwhile,
the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario said in early March it would
be shedding upwards of 50 staffing positions in response to an
anticipated $6.7-million shortfall in the hospital’s 2015-2016 budget.
At Brockville General Hospital (BGH), six non-clinical positions were
eliminated, saving the medical facility $425,000. In 2013, seven jobs
were cut, a cost saving measure totalling roughly $700,000.
According to BGH administration, a further $1.9 million in savings will
be needed in the coming months, and more layoffs are expected.
“We are good in contrast to other hospitals,” Boland said. “We have
achieved financial stability, and are being careful with our finances.”
The hospital is also prepping for a full rollout of the Upper Canada
Health Link initiative, which then health minister Deb Matthews
launched at WDMH last spring.
“It’s very much in its infancy,” Boland said.
WDMH is leading the network planning, which will partner the medical
facility with about 16 outside providers, including Dundas Manor, the
Township of Osgoode Care Centre, various physician practices and more,
to better assist patients with complex medical needs.
As well, the village hospital has received increased provincial funding
for an expanded outpatient physiotherapist, and is moving forward with
its quality improvement plan for 2015-2016.
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