A ‘year of rejuvenation’ at Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills hospitals, says annual report

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Published July 5, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Halton Healthcare has released its 2022/23 Annual Report. HALTON HEALTHCARE PHOTO

An increase in both patient volumes and Emergency Department numbers at Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills hospitals last year resulted in an increase in volumes in all of Halton Healthcare’s services.

With it has come a series of challenges the local health unit faces in an effort to improve patient flow and preserve hospital capacity.

“This has been a year of rejuvenation,” wrote the Halton Healthcare leadership group – led by Chair, Board of Directors Richard Nunn, Interim President & CEO Hilary Rodriques and Chief of Staff Dr. David McConachie – in its 2023 annual report. “While the veil of the pandemic challenge slowly lifts, our teams have heartily taken on many other obstacles that arose this past year.”

Last year there were over 161,554 emergency department visits alone to Halton hospitals.

The increase in volume came at a time when most had to deal with staffing shortages and a number of staff departures after the provincial government’s Bill 124 in 2019. The controversial bill capped wage increases for nurses at one per cent a year for three years.

The bill was found unconstitutional last month and an arbitrator awarded hospital workers a 3.75 per raise for last year and a 2.75 per cent raise for this year.

In response to the staffing shortages, the local health unit engaged staff in an “organization-wide campaign.”

“To support our people, a renewed focus has been placed on action plans for retention, recruitment, professional development, team well-being and engagement, student placement and academic partnerships,” wrote the Halton leadership group.

The work, they said, is being led by a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team of staff and physicians from across the organization who make up a Health Human Resources Steering Committee.

“We are seeing some early success, which is largely credited to active engagement of a cross-section of staff and physicians along with patient and families.”

That increase in volume made for a very busy year from a clinical perspective. Local hospitals performed 50,780 surgeries and conducted almost 322,000 diagnostic exams while helping to deliver 4,565 babies.

“Our teams have worked to restore service to pre-pandemic levels in all areas, including diagnostic imagine” said the leadership group. “MRI wait times, for instance, at both Milton District and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospitals are exceeding the provincial benchmarks thanks to creative solutions to increase capacity.”

They also pointed to an “Exemplary Standing” Halton Healthcare received late last year from Accreditation Canada surveyors in an on-site survey assessing leadership, governance, clinical programs and services against rigorous quality and safety requirements.

“This effort speaks volumes about the quality of care that we provide within our communities and our commitment to our purpose ‘To Care’ shines through, thanks to the efforts of our staff, physicians, volunteers and Board members,” the group said.

HALTON HEALTHCARE

BY THE NUMBERS

Staff – 5,178

Medical & Professional staff – 968

Volunteers – 1,777

Diagnostic Exams – 321,895

Emergency Department Visits – 161,554

Oncology Visits – 23,580

Surgeries – 50,780

Dialysis Visits – 50,780

Fracture Clinic Visits – 23,580

Mental Health & Addictions Ambulatory Care Visits – 1,714

Babies Born – 4,565

Laboratory Tests – 3,227,438

Patient Meals Served – 797,178

FINANCES

Statement of Operations (expressed in thousands)

For year ended March 31, 2023

REVENUE

  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – $527,213
  • Interest Income – 5,821
  • Other operational income – 73,127
  • Deferred grant amortization – $13,890

TOTAL = 620,051

EXPENSES

  • Salaries, wages and benefits – $448.502
  • Supplies and other expenses – 101,000
  • Medical and surgical supplies – 34,035
  • Drugs – 25,833
  • Equipment amortization – 16,394

TOTAL = 625,764

Excess of revenues over expenses before building interest and amortization (5,731)

Building interest and amortization, net (2,483)

Excess (Deficiency) of revenues over expenses ($8,196)

To see the full report, visit here.

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