The subject of this week's message is the 2015/16 budget – the fiscal year that we have just started together as of April 1st.

It will come as no surprise that all hospitals are facing budget challenges. There's been no increase in funding from the Provincial government, costs go up every year for items such as drugs, supplies, and energy and the provincial funding model continues to shift to more volume-funded programs. In addition to these challenges come the commitments we have to our patients which continue to increase in number. Our goal – as always – will be to deliver on our primary mission of safe patient care for all of the patients who come to us.

Our financial challenge this year is to find $26 million in savings -- $10 million of which has already been found by the operational groups throughout UHN. The work that has been done to date takes us a long way to delivering on our obligation to a balanced budget for 2015-16. Our Board of Trustees, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the taxpayers of Ontario expect this of us each and every year. In approaching the additional $16 million in savings, we will rely on teamwork, our ability to approach care in new and effective ways, and the resiliency of the people in this organization. As we seek ways to operate more efficiently, we will also be looking at the years ahead and making changes this year that will help us well in to the future.

As with past years, we will do everything possible to minimize job loss which means reviewing vacancies and filling them with UHN staff wherever possible. It also means looking at whether we need to fill a position when someone leaves UHN. Most importantly, it means working with all of you on ideas for cost savings throughout UHN which can be communicated via your leader or manager.

We will also be working to ensure that we are fulfilling our commitments in all areas where we receive volume funding because this brings revenues to the hospital. At the same time, we will be ensuring that our volumes in other areas match the funding we receive from the government. Put simply, when we are funded for a given number of procedures, we cannot provide more than that number of procedures because we will not be reimbursed for providing those additional services. In situations where there is clear medical need, we can work collaboratively to build business cases that demonstrate to the government that there is volume pressure in an area that cannot be met with current funding. ​Until we receive that funding commitment, we cannot responsibly exceed the funding envelope.

My expectation of leaders throughout the organization is to develop a plan to achieve a balanced budget plan within the area that they manage. The remaining amount that we need to collectively reduce is $16 million. This represents 1.7% of our overall budget, a target that I am very confident we can work together to achieve.



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