There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to provincial government funding for Quinte Health Care but the Board of Directors has passed a temporary budget to guide it through the coming months.
The operating expenses follow last year’s pattern allowing for labor cost increases but no changes in staffing or levels of service in 2018/19.
However, because of some recent provincial funding increases, there will be a few more beds in service at each of Belleville General, Trenton Memorial and Prince Edward Memorial hospitals. There will be no change in the number of beds at North Hastings Hospital.
Meanwhile, Board Treasurer Karen Baker said ongoing talks to change the province’s funding formula to better reflect the extra costs of running four separate facilities spread across a mostly rural landscape have been very positive.
It’s hoped chronic funding shortfalls will be a thing of the past in the near future for multi-facility hospital organizations.
The interim operating budget for QHC is close to $200 million. Included are assumptions about pay increases for staff.
The interim budget includes room for the following increases for unions: UNIFOR 1.4%, ONA 1.75%, OPSEU 1.4%, SEIU 1.4%. Pay raise assumptions of 1.75% are assumed for non-union staff.
Meanwhile, the board passed a $9 million capital budget as well. Should expected support from hospital foundations materialize, $4.5 million will be spent on new equipment, including at new CT scanner at TMH.
There is also money to continue detailed planning for a new and redeveloped Prince Edward Memorial Hospital.