Tag Archives: SBGHC

Dealing with an unfair funding formula, SBGHC cuts at the top (how novel!)

Here’s a story we don’t see every day: South Bruce Grey Health Centre is cutting two of its four senior management positions as part of its efforts to deal with a budget deficit.

Contrast that with hospitals such as Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, which carved out a new advisory position for its departing CEO at a time when front line staff are bracing for tough times ahead.

The decision may have been slightly easier to make at SBGHC given two senior managers are retiring. However, as most front line workers already know, when you cut vacant positions, it still has an impact on the workload of those left behind.

SBGHC is one of the few hospitals to have weathered the last decade without consistently running into deficit. The fact that they are now forced to trim their sails owes a lot to a punitive new funding formula emerging from Queen’s Park. Small rural hospitals weren’t supposed to be part of that formula, but because SBGHC combines resources from four small hospitals together, they do.

The irony is that by consolidating their resources these four small hospitals are being penalized. For the Hanover hospital, which has somehow managed to stay out of SBGHC despite being located within the same geographic area, they must be breathing a sigh of relief.

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SBGHC: Small, rural, and looking to find $622,000

When the province introduced its new hospital funding formula, it specifically highlighted its intention not to subject small rural hospitals to it.

Evidently when the Minister meant small, she meant very small.

South Bruce Grey Health Centre is reporting that the new hospital funding formula means they will be facing a $622,000 shortfall next year.

SBGHC is made up of four very small hospital sites in Walkerton, Durham, Kincardine and Chesley. With four hospitals, it’s total budget is about $41.7 million, of which $29.5 million comes directly from the Ministry of Health (another $6.3 million comes in MOH physician funding).

The community makes the argument that had these four hospitals not been amalgamated, they would not be subject to this punitive funding formula.

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Hospital Food: Will evidence and accountability be the end of rethermalized food?

The food served in hospital may be directly linked to chances of survival for critically ill patients according to Dr. Daren Heyland, a staff physician at Kingston General Hospital.

Heyland and his research team has just received a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Health to continue research into meeting the nutrition needs of high risk, critically ill patients. According to release from Queen’s University, such a grant to a Canadian researcher is rare.

“The optimal amount of energy and protein given to a critically ill patient remains unclear but CERU’s (Queen’s University Clinical Evaluation Research Unit) review of current intensive care unit nutrition practice shows over recent years the amount of energy and protein delivered to critically ill patients is too low,” the release states (emphasis added).

There’s no question that every time you process food, it loses much of its nutritional value.

When a hospital converts from fresh to rethermalized food service, the patient meals lose more nutrition in the cooking, freezing, and reheating process. This is a scientific fact.

The proteins that patients need are altered in the process, or what some call “denaturing.” According to one source, “protein molecules are long chains of 100 or more amino acids all linked together forming a coil called an alpha helix. When a protein is stressed, as it is when it is heated or cooked, it begins to uncoil and changes, losing or altering some of its properties.”

Earlier this year OPSEU took advantage of the freedom of information process to seek food costs at South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC).

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