Dear Colleagues, 

This week we are expecting the report from provincial consultant Don Drummond which will contain his recommendations as to how the Province of Ontario should approach balancing its books and dealing with an economic challenge. I expect that there will be a lot of recommendations about healthcare since the Ministry of Health is the largest recipient of funds from the provincial budget – approximately $47.1 billion dollars. I also expect that Drummond's recommendations will have a great deal of influence in how the government chooses to spend its money this year in health and I am certain that we will be facing 'belt-tightening' in the health sector.

We expect that UHN will end the 2011-12 fiscal year on March 31 in a balanced financial position – a good place to be, given what lies ahead. We also know, through our recent "Accredited with Exemplary Standing" accreditation result, that the care that we provide to our patients is at the highest level in the Canadian system. In 2012 – 13, through a combination of inflationary costs, needs for capital expenditure, and an increased requirement for our services in most of our programs, we are projecting a budgetary deficit of about $8 million dollars. We know that this deficit is unacceptable, so we are finishing putting together the strategies needed to bring us to a balanced budget in 2012/13 and in the years that follow. We will be working with managers and staff across the organization to help us keep to a balanced budget next year and in the years that follow.

For those of you who have been through this before, you know that everyone feels the pressure when we must find that kind of reduction in expenses. With careful attention to hiring practices, we will avoid involuntary job loss by holding vacancies when possible or moving individuals to vacancies from other parts of UHN if their role is eliminated. The people who work here are our most valuable resource and keeping a stable work environment is very important. We are also fortunate that, with UHN's large labour force, we can count on a certain number of vacancies to help us with our goal of avoiding involuntary job loss.

Areas that we will target for budget opportunity include: reducing overtime, reduction in the use of some tests, reviewing our care models, efficient purchasing, standardizing supply processes, as well as further work on ALC.

I know that it is never pleasant to get this kind of message but I also know that you would rather understand what's ahead so that we can all work together to achieve a balanced budget, maintain excellent care for our patients, and keep a stable work environment at UHN. If you have ideas for ways we can become more efficient and effective, please send them along or discuss them with your manager. We will need the ideas and support of everyone as we face the challenges ahead.​

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