As the MUHC’s super hospital drags on, cuts are rocking the health network
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:07PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:15PM EST
MONTREAL—Employees of the McGill University Health Centre were out protesting the hospital network’s plan to cut $50 million from its budget on Wednesday. Workers fear job losses and worse patient care.
All of this has taken place as the MUHC has put the finishing touches on the multi-billion dollar super hospital on the Glen Site.
While those out with signs said they understood that the MUHC is tackling a serious deficit, they don't understand why administrators are targeting people who are key in delivering patient care, when they say, it's clear to them that the hospital is top heavy.
“After 34 years of working here, you have a vested interest in what happens and then they go and just outsource you like you're nothing,” said MUHC stock clerk Ross McKeating.
Employees like McKeating say they love working at the Montreal General, in fact, it's the only place many of them have worked. However, now they face an onslaught of privatized services and outsourcing.
“If we downsize staff, it will affect the care that we can give the population,” said administrative officer Sarah Aguilar.
One place where there may be cuts is to cleaning staff, which some here say will lead to less infection control. The union feels the hospital should instead look at cutting managers
“I think they should focus their directions on cutting those managers and save the workers,” said Judy Pasiolan, a member of the housekeeping staff.
Administrators say they have no choice.
“We were asked to do these things to come in line with other hospitals so we're hoping the cuts will make us more efficient in what we do,” said interim physician-in-chief Dr. Joyce Pickering.
Part of the cuts could also be felt here at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex, where up to three positions could be eliminated. The management hopes patients won't notice a big difference.
“It will still be a family medicine unit. It just might take on a different state,” said Irene Tshernomore, CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex.
Employees say they plan to keep demonstrating in the hopes that they can persuade management that it's the employees who make the hospital what it is.
The MUHC’s final budget is due in April.
The MUHC provided this wide-angle photo of the superhospital campus under construction.