Bruyère Continuing Care, which includes the Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, has eliminated 140 positions that could lead to 87 people losing their jobs, the organization has announced.

In a news release, Bruyère said it would implement a two-year plan to save $4.2-million — $3 million in the clinical area and $1.2 million in administration and support.

That means 140 full-time equivalent positions would be eliminated with 53 new full-time positions created, as the organization moves to hire more registered nurses instead of personal care attendants.

In total, 87 people could lose their jobs, announced president and CEO Bernie Blais.

Blais said the staff mix in the continuing care program would be redesigned to include more regulated clinical staff caring for patients to deal with the "increased complexity of conditions in the patient population."

The group will also expand its outpatient stroke rehabilitation clinic to help patients transition home sooner.

Union warned of cuts in late February

The Ontario sector of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents over 800 frontline staff at Bruyère Continuing Care, had warned of pending cuts in late February.

The union warned of drastic bed reductions in geriatric rehab, stroke rehab and palliative care, as well as service cuts in environmental, food services and other areas.

Blais blames the Ontario Ministry of Health's new funding formula for the cuts.

"Bruyère has to choose very carefully between all of the important services we provide and determine priorities. Difficult decisions will need to be made," said Blais.