Hospital administrators brace for change
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:14PM EDT
As Premier-designate Doug Ford and his transition team prepare to take over at Queen's Park, many are waiting anxiously to see how the new Progressive Conservative government tackles the major issues.
High on that list is healthcare, especially here in the north, where hospitals continue to struggle with overcrowding and deficits.
At the region's largest hospital, Health Sciences North, administrators are bracing for change.
Dominic Giroux is the Chief Executive Officer for Health Sciences North.
"Our task is to align our strategic plan at HSN and HSNRI with those provincial directions and also with priorities identified by the North East LHIN." said Giroux.
Ford has promised to end hallway medicine and conduct a third-party audit of healthcare spending.
Francesca Grosso is a health policy consultant who was one of the architects of the PC health care plan included in the “People's Guarantee” under Patrick Brown.
She says the problem simple.
"If we are not putting more dollars to care, if we are not getting more nurses and more doctors and more services, then we are failing." said Grosso.
She says 15 years of Liberal government actually left a well-funded healthcare system, it's where the money was going, or not going, that's the problem.
"We cannot afford to be putting money disproportionately into administrations. We have to restore the understanding that government exists to serve the people and that healthcare and hospitals exist to serve the patient." said Grosso.
HSN has already trimmed some administrative positions and its latest budget, currently under a third-party review, calls for cuts to unionized staff as well.
But throughout the campaign, Doug Ford also pledged that no public service jobs would be lost at the expense of his cuts to government spending, but at HSN, that's a tough sell.
"I think that would be a challenge, obviously. Most of the expenditures in the public sector relate to salary and wages. There are some things you can do through retirement and attrition, but that's why our focus at HSN and HSNRI has been to develop a multi-year plan." said Giroux.
"The only way we're going to tackle hallway healthcare, is to properly and robustly build out more services in the community so that hospitals can be doing what they were actually built to do." said Grossi.
And now that he has the healthcare reigns in his hands, the Premier-designate says it's the frontline doctors and nurses who are going to tell him how to fix it.