Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare Facing $5-million Budget Crunch

A trifecta of unfunded costs is going to create a significant financial crunch for Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare.

At a pre-budget submission to Parliamentary Secretary Yvan Baker in Windsor, CEO Janice Kaffer says a change in regulations to pharmacy care, implementing the Health Information System and the impact of Bill 148, add up to close to $5-million, which is about 5% of its annual budget.

"We received notice we have to upgrade our pharmacy services and that we can no longer provide the services the way we've been doing it" says Kaffer. "In order to meet this new standard, it's going to cost us anywhere upwards to a million dollars that we aren't funded for"

She points out upgrading its information system to meet provincial standards is projected to cost HDGH is $34-million over 10 years which is not funded.

Also a concern is the impact of Bill 148 which will add at least $500,000 to cover leave provisions for staff.

"What we're saying is that those of us who are publicly funded, we have a real issue with trying to find ways, within our already stretched budgets, to meet those needs" explains Kaffer.  "We're not debating the right or the wrong of the legislation, what we're saying is that when that kind of a change happens these are hard for us to absorb"

Despite all those budgetary pressures, Kaffer says if she could have one thing funded in the upcoming provincial budget, it would be mental health and addiction programs.