BELLEVILLE, October 5, 2015 – Quinte Health Care (QHC) has announced its proposed plan for the future distribution of services across its four hospitals. The plan was developed based on input from almost 1,000 residents defining their top health care priorities, and the recommendations of the Brighton/Quinte West Health Services Advisory Committee.
“QHC and its Board remain committed to the future of all four of our hospitals,” said QHC Vice-Chair Doug McGregor. “Trenton Memorial Hospital, Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, North Hastings Hospital and Belleville General Hospital are all here to stay and they will each have – at a minimum – a 24 hour emergency room, inpatient beds and diagnostic services.”
There will, however, need to be changes across the four hospitals in order for QHC to deliver quality care within its available funding. Quinte Health Care has seen a reduction in its funding each year and must reduce its expenses by $11.5 million in the 2016/17 fiscal year.
QHC President & CEO Mary Clare Egberts says the proposed plan minimizes the impact on patients as much as possible. Although there are some changes to clinical services and access to care across the hospitals, the vast majority of the changes are related to staffing levels and efficiencies in almost every area of QHC.
The changes in the plan that will be more obvious to patients include: the move of some surgical services from Trenton to Belleville; having complex continuing care beds at TMH; more focused services in the Rehab Day Hospital; and no longer offering a pain clinic through QHC, but working with Hotel Dieu to establish a regional program.
“Under the new funding formula, QHC cannot continue to split secondary level services between two hospitals,” said Egberts. “Instead, we must support three strong, primary care hospitals that each offer 24-hour emergency care, the required number of inpatient beds for family-physician level of care, basic diagnostics and appropriate hospital-based clinics. Almost all secondary level services would then be consolidated at BGH in order to deliver them in a cost-efficient and high quality manner, particularly given our relatively small and decreasing volumes in this region.”
Egberts adds that the QHC leadership feel that the recommendations brought forward by the Brighton/Quinte West Health Services Advisory Committee will create a vibrant local health care system that will actually better meet the Quinte West community’s needs in the long-term. “In particular, the proposed future co-location model can better meet local needs for primary care services that community members have consistently identified as their top health care priority.”
Between now and the end of October, QHC will gather input from physicians, staff and communities to refine the changes and help inform future implementation plan. The proposed plan will then go to the Board in November and to the union partners to start the staff planning process.
Residents of the area served by QHC can go to the QHC web site at www.qhc.on.ca to learn more about the proposed changes and provide comments or questions.
Senior Director, Communications
Quinte Health Care
613-969-7400, ext. 2331