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Dear Colleagues,

We have talked about the financial challenge that Ontario is facing and today we expect that the budget will pass at Queen's Park with some amendments proposed by the NDP.

As I've said before, there is no question that health care funding -- half of all provincial spending -- will be under stress for the next couple of years. Since hospitals account for a large part of Ontario's spending on health care, we know that funding for our hospital will not increase at the same rate as in previous years.

In addition to overall reductions in the rate of funding increases, hospitals are also dealing with changes in the way that we receive money. This is a method where funding follows patient care – named Patient Based Payment or Health Based Allocation Method (HBAM). The impact of these changes is not yet completely worked out, so we are starting our financial year without an exact understanding of what our provincial funding will be.

Despite this lack of complete information we do expect that our funding will be a bit less than last year, wage rates will increase and the price of supplies will increase. Our executives, directors and managers will be watching expenses even more closely than usual and we are expecting that we will make adjustments as the year progresses. At present can say the following:

  1. We will maintain our commitment of avoiding involuntary job loss to stay within budget;
  2. We will balance our budget;
  3. We will focus on our hiring freeze even more closely than in previous years. It is possible that everyone will need to stretch a bit to fill in when people leave our areas;
  4. All of our Managers and Directors will focus on reducing sick time. The cost of sick time for the entire organization has increased over the past year and this is both very expensive and makes it difficult for colleagues to cope;
  5. All of our Managers and Directors will focus on avoiding overtime since this really stresses our budget. We will be working to right size staffing across the hospital to avoid overtime.
  6. We will not be increasing any scheduled care of patients; and
  7. Our integration with Toronto Rehab will be helpful to facilitate the flow of some patients- especially in the Krembil and the Arthritis Programs.

My apologies for the length of this message but I want to keep everyone up to date with budget impacts as the year proceeds. We will be planning to expand on these messages at UHN Leadership Forums as well as at Town Halls across all of our sites as we get more information.

Thanks to all of you for your help in keeping our commitments this year. ​​

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