SBGHC — Rosebush sets objective to balance budget without cuts to staff or services

If there has been one good news story this summer it’s this: CEO Paul Rosebush sent a memo to all physicians and staff at his South Bruce Grey Health Centre in July telling them that the hospital’s fiscal shortfall for this coming year has shrunk from $700,000 to $300,000.

This may not sound like a big deal, but SBGHC operates on a modest budget of about $42 million.

Small rural hospitals weren’t supposed to be affected by the introduction of the new hospital funding formula last year, but the four small hospitals that make up SBGHC were big enough as a single corporate entity to qualify. That meant a drop in base funding — an especially tough pill to swallow while hospitals are under a base funding freeze for the second year in a row.

Rosebush had appealed to the South West Local Health Integration Network (SW LHIN)  that this was unfair. By virtue of working together the four hospitals were being penalized under the formula.

The SW LHIN listened and has partially mitigated the hospital’s circumstances for now. There is a promise to revisit SGBHC’s funding for future years.

Rosebush’s memo noted that “so far, we have not had to sacrifice any services or jobs, of which I am extremely proud.”

That may sound like a bit of PR, but too few hospital CEOs are willing to publicly set that as an objective at budget time.

Rosebush says he anticipates the hospital will be able to make up the remaining shortfall without sacrificing jobs or services.

SBGHC did finish 2012-13 with a balanced budget.

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