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Central LHIN's ice storm 'surplus' flows to SMH, funding for 200 CT hours

Posted February 20, 2014

Stevenson Memorial Hospital will receive $75,000 out of a $995,449 unplanned surplus generated by the fall-out of December's ice storm across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

A report to the Central LHIN's board of director's on next week's monthly agenda is recommending clawing back about $1 million which is identified as unspent funds that were allocated to the Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) in the 2013-14 fiscal cycle.

It points to the December 21, 2013 storm that hit the GTA particularly hard, that impacted hundreds of thousands of residents, some without power for up to 12 days.

"In early January 2014, Central CCAC contacted the Central LHIN to advise that due to the ice storm, CCAC sub-contracted service providers were not able to provide the level of services planned for December 2014. Service delivery was impacted by either clients not being able to receive the workers or workers not being able to take on the clients. An example is apartment buildings where there were no elevator services and clients were on very high floors. Some public transportation routes were also not operational. The CCAC services impacted were: PSW, physiotherapy and nursing."

Because CCAC does not expect it can make-up for the lost time in services by "fiscal year-end" Central LHIN has the ability to redistribute the funds prior to March 31, 2014, and its recommending it go to its hospitals, which "at the same time, in December and early January, ... began communicating with the LHIN that they had a significant number of unbudgeted beds open due to emergency department pressures. The ice storm had varying impacts across hospitals, such as physical damage from the ice and hoteling costs for front line staff who could not return home and were required the next day. In addition, there was a general increase in ED volumes related to the flu season."

The Central LHIN hospitals were asked to provide the impact of the ice storm and flu on the emergency department volumes, and the one-time reallocation for Mackenzie Health, Southlake, North York General, and Humber River hospitals will each receive $185,000, while Markham Stouffville receives $180,449.

Stevenson was also approved to receive $50,000 in one-time funding for 200 CT hours, from the Urgent Priority Funds for additional wait times volumes, "in which hospitals were facing increased demand and had excess capacity, and where additional funding would improve hospital performance ..."

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