Media release - SE LHIN regarding Kingston General Hospital and Investigator



    
    SE LHIN is working with Health Ministry and Kingston General Hospital
                  as Investigator reviews hospital finances

             - Hospital funder is pleased with the appointment of
                               Graham Scott -
    

    BELLEVILLE, ON, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - The South East Local Health Integration
Network is pleased by the decision of Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
George Smitherman to send an Investigator to Kingston General Hospital to
review its finances, says Georgina Thompson, Chair of the Board of Directors
at the South East LHIN.
    This follows Mr. Smitherman's announcement today that Cabinet has
approved his recommendation to order an external Investigator, Graham Scott,
to provide guidance to Kingston General Hospital on governance and management
issues. The order is in response to concerns raised by the South East Local
Health Integration Network (LHIN), whose mandate includes funding hospitals in
the South East region.
    Kingston General Hospital advised the LHIN that it projects a deficit for
2007-2008 of $13.5 million, on total revenues of $317.8 million, growing to a
total operating deficit of $24 million by next year. The hospital receives
$247 million of its revenues from the South East LHIN. The hospital has been
in a deficit position for three of the past four years.
    The South East Local Health Integration Network hopes that the Minister's
announcement of an Investigator is the measure that the hospital needs to
adopt a positive, solutions-based approach to budget analysis and discussions,
Ms. Thompson adds.

    Signed accountability agreement

    A signed accountability agreement holds the South East LHIN accountable
to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for a year-end balanced budget.
Similarly, signed agreements hold all 124 health care providers in the South
East LHIN accountable to the LHIN for balancing their budgets, says Paul
Huras, Chief Executive Officer of the LHIN.
    Kingston General Hospital signed an agreement last spring to balance its
2007-2008 budget, and then immediately announced a projected $13.5 million
deficit. Since then, the hospital has not achieved any reduction in the size
of its projected deficit. "I had expected the hospital to have moved toward a
balanced budget once it announced its projected deficit, but seeing no
movement is extremely disappointing," says Mr. Huras. "While trying to provide
a system of high-quality care we have a responsibility to appropriately manage
the province's health care funding, and accountability agreements are meant to
ensure that we fulfill that responsibility," he notes. "Most health care
providers understand and accept that responsibility. I look forward to Mr.
Scott's review of the hospital and together determining how we can help the
hospital move forward."
    The review process used by the South East Local Health Integration
Network is detailed and comprehensive, using a number of accepted financial
analytical tools specifically designed for review of hospital operations and
finance. The LHIN's review shows that in the past three years patient volume
has remained stable, while costs and revenues have increased. In fact, the
hospital has received greater increases in revenues than any other academic
health sciences hospital in Ontario except London Health Sciences Centre, Ms.
Thompson says.
    "A review of the hospital allocation in terms of the provincial standards
for this type of hospital shows that its revenues are in line with what
similar hospitals are receiving. In this context, we believe that the
hospital's rapidly increasing costs are not justified," Ms. Thompson says. For
that reason, and based on the hospital's performance in the past four years,
the South East LHIN is not confident that additional funding, even if it were
available, would correct the situation, she adds. "We believe that Kingston
General Hospital actually does have the tools at hand now to meet its
obligations."

    Legislated responsibility for balanced budget

    The province's 14 Local Health Integration Networks have the
responsibility for planning, integration and funding of hospitals in Ontario.
The LHINs' first year of operations ends on March 31, 2008.
    The total budget for the South East LHIN is $863 million, allocated to
124 health service providers in six sectors: hospitals, long-term care homes,
mental health and addictions, community health centres, community support
services, and Community Care Access Centre.
    The South East LHIN Board has seen all 123 other health service providers
in the region substantially meet their financial obligations, Ms. Thompson
says. Kingston General Hospital's long tradition of leadership and excellence
means that there is every reason for it to show its staff and volunteers,
physicians, the community, and its health care partners that it can build a
solid financial foundation, she adds.

    
                   Quick Facts about the South East Local
                         Health Integration Network

    -   The South East Local Health Integration Network is one of 14 "LHIN"
    agencies put in place by the Province in 2006.

    -   Each LHIN is mandated to provide planning, integration, and funding
    for designated health care service providers in its region -- with the
    goal of putting the patient first.

    -   LHINs provide regional decision-making and accountability for health
    care services and of health care dollars.

    -   The South East region extends along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence
    River from Brighton through Trenton, Prince Edward County, Belleville,
    Kingston, Brockville, and Prescott to Cardinal; north to Merrickville,
    Perth, and Smiths Falls, and over to Bancroft.

    -  The South East region's population of 480,000 is relatively small,
    and is spread across a large geographic area; about 80,000 of this
    population are seniors.

    -  LHINs are responsible and accountable for the following sectors:

        -  Community Care Access Centre (home care)
        -  Mental health and addictions services
        -  Long-term care homes
        -  Community Health Centres
        -  Community Support Services
        -  Hospitals (Lennox & Addington Hospital; Quinte Health
           Care - 4 sites; Hotel Dieu; Providence Care; Kingston General
           Hospital; Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (two sites);
           Brockville General Hospital).

       This represents about 124 health care organizations in the South East
       region. Of these, 123 are substantially meeting their financial
       obligations in 2007-2008.

    -  The total budget managed by the South East LHIN in 2007-2008 is about
    $863 million. The LHIN's funding to Kingston General Hospital of
    $247 million represents 28% of the LHIN's budget.

        -  The South East Local Health Integration Network's Board Chair is
           Georgina Thompson, and the Vice-Chair is Florence Campbell. Other
           Board members are: John Ferguson, John Groves, Kenneth C. McBain,
           Gaye McGinn, Tom Rankin, and Margaret Werkhoven.

        -  The SE LHIN's Chief Executive Officer is Paul Huras.

        -  The public is invited and welcome to attend the Board's monthly
           meetings.

        -  For information refer to our web site at www.southeastlhin.on.ca,
           or call us at (613) 967-0196 or toll-free at 1-866-831-5446.
    





For further information:

For further information: Media contact at SE LHIN: Polly Thompson, (613)
967-0196, No. 221

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SOUTH EAST LOCAL HEALTH INTEGRATION NETWORK

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