Over the past several months, GBHS staff and physicians have worked on a number of potential measures to reduce the organizations’ growing operating deficit. The GBHS Board of Directors met to assess these options last Friday, and has asked for more information on the options. The Board will re-convene at the end of February.

The Board recognizes the importance of health care to our communities, and has re-confirmed that no decisions will be made on any of the options for reducing the deficit until internal and external stakeholders have been consulted. A schedule of public engagement sessions will be available in early Spring.

After six years of balanced budgets, GBHS, which operates six hospitals and a withdrawal management centre, is facing a $4 million deficit due in part to a change in the provincial funding model for hospitals its size. If no changes are made to how GBHS delivers services, the deficit is expected to grow to approximately $7 million in 2017/18.

“Adopting a longer-term transformational strategy for the organization and allowing time for an intelligent, sustainable redesign is not easy in the fast paced health care sector where short-term results are expected and rewarded,” said Lance Thurston, President and Chief Executive Officer for GBHS. “Corporate tolerance for risk and the unblinking resolve of corporate leadership to stay the course are required as we work through this financial challenge.”

GBHS continues its advocacy efforts with the South West LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. The Board is optimistic that before the end of March the Ministry of Health will have responded to its request for changes to the funding model for GBHS. The Board will then be in a better position to understand the scope and depth of changes required to address any remaining funding gap.

GBHS staff continues to work on a number of internal process efficiencies and initiatives to enhance revenues.

Updates on the funding situation and stakeholder engagement sessions will be posted on the website at gbhs.on.ca.

Media contact: Nicole Schmidt, Communications Coordinator, Grey Bruce Health Services, 519-376-2121 ext. 2805, nischmidt@