Nearly 50 jobs at risk at Grand River Hospital amid $7M deficit

Grand River Hospital could eliminate almost 50 jobs in its plan to deal with a $7.4 million deficit, hospital administrators suggest.

Hospital looking at changes to 38 full-time and 11-part-time positions, officials say

Grand River Hospital could eliminate almost 50 jobs to deal with a $7.4 million deficit.

Grand River Hospital in Kitchener may have to eliminate almost 50 jobs to deal with a $7.4 million deficit.

Hospital officials say 38 full time and 11 part time jobs could be affected by the budget shortfall in the current fiscal year.

Officials have not said how the jobs will be impacted, only that changes could range from different or reduced hours to eliminating a position altogether, officials have confirmed.

Mark Karjaluoto is the director of communications with the hospital.

He said staff were informed about the job changes earlier this week, as well as future cuts that could come in the next three years.

"We know that if we do nothing, and the ministry of health funding to us remains unchanged, that we would be looking at a deficit from hospital operations of about $18 million next year, and it would grow over time," said Karjaluoto. "This is big because our total budget is about $400 million."

He said the hospital will have some "difficult decisions" to make.

The hospital has also invested in a new clinical information system at a cost of about $66 million. The hospital is going into long-term debt to pay that off.

Kitchener Centre NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo issued a statement Friday, saying the cuts come amid long waits and overcrowding at Ontario hospitals. She laid blame with the previous Liberal government in Ontario and the Conservatives that are now in power.

She said Premier Doug Ford should be prioritizing health care.

Karjaluoto said the hospital will develop their three year plan assuming that their revenue remains constant.

"The type of [provincial] deficit that has been publicly reported — we're trying to make sure that we maintain quality care, that we make sure our financial situation remains stable and that we can deal with some of the longer-term investments that we're going to need to make," said Karjaluoto.

In February, the hospital will decide what exactly will happen to the 49 jobs that could be subject to elimination.