The Ontario government has announced the elimination of hundreds of “back-office” positions as it moves to streamline health services in the province.
Many of the positions, it says, are currently vacant.
The province maintains the reorganization of the current system is “redirecting health care dollars from administration to direct patient care.”
“With each of these agencies having their own administrative and back-office supports, we are needlessly duplicating operations and spending money that we desperately need to pay for and enhance direct patient care. These agencies often work toward separate visions, following their own distinct workplans, and are not well coordinated around a unified vision for patient care.”– Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Examples of duplication include positions in communications, planning, data analytics and financial services. None of the impacted positions provide direct patient care. Moving forward, the government says there will be no negative impact on frontline care, which will continue uninterrupted.
This comes amid ongoing healthcare restructuring; the government announced earlier this year it would be disbanding many local health units and merging them with others. For instance, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) would be split in two – the Simcoe County portion merging with York Region and the Muskoka portion merging with several health units in Ontario’s north.
A spokesperson with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says today’s announcement from the province will not affect its staff or service delivery.