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Group Health Centre cuts five management jobs citing 'significant deficit'

Diabetes program also in danger without more funding from regional health body, says CEO
The Group Health Centre at 240 McNabb Street. File photo.

Alex Lambert, Group Health Centre president and CEO, has confirmed five management and administration positions have been eliminated at the local health care facility.

“It was out of financial necessity,” Lambert told SooToday Monday, the job cuts effective immediately.

“Not unlike the rest of the health care sector in Ontario, we are facing significant deficits and we’re trying to figure out how to continue providing and growing our services while managing through this situation,” Lambert said.

Lambert said no frontline medical staff have been affected by the cuts.

“No medical services have been impacted, it’s business as usual and we’re continuing to work on different things we can do to address the issue without having to touch anything on the front line.”  

Lambert added “we are working with the Northeast LHIN on a specific issue around our diabetes program which has been historically underfunded, and we’ve subsidized it for a number of years, but we can no longer afford to do that given the state of the overall budget, so we’re trying to work with the LHIN to maintain that program with a full staff and complement.” 

“We hope there won’t be any more (job cuts). We still have our challenges and we’re working with government to help address this issue because this is an issue of a decade of government austerity, not just us but right across the health care sector.”

Lambert did not provide specific numbers regarding GHC’s deficit.

“I’m terribly disappointed. We’ve lost a lot of very capable and talented people. They are personally impacted, and it’s frustrating.”

“Even with minimum increases on a regular basis this would be avoided. But truly, health care has been absolutely starved over the last eight years…it’s really unfortunate,” Lambert said.

Lambert said in the long term, GHC still hopes to have a new main building, which was announced to be in the feasibility stage in Oct. 2016.

“We’re continuing to work with the Ministry on that, on all the background work, but we’re focused on the operating budget right now so I would say that’s a secondary priority,” Lambert said. 


Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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