HAMILTON, Ontario, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Hamilton, Ontario, hospitals are eliminating 485 jobs to staunch the flow of red ink, Canadian hospital executives said Wednesday.
Attempts are being made to achieve the reductions through attrition and not filling vacancies but layoffs haven't been ruled out, The Hamilton Spectator reported. The hospitals are trying to reduce costs by $25 million by the end of the year.
"Unquestionably, we're certainly going to have to look at cutting work hours," said Kevin Smith, chief executive officer of St. Joseph's. "I think it's frankly unrealistic that we wouldn't have a reduction with that size of a shortfall."
Hamilton Health Sciences is cutting 300 of its 10,000 jobs. St. Peter's Hospital has cut 10 through attrition. St. Joseph's needs to cut 175 jobs from its staff of 4,500.
Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington hadn't determined how many jobs will be affected.
The shortfalls are the result of a gap between provincial funding and inflation. But it's the souring economy that ultimately is to blame, Smith said.
"We need to be very upfront and honest and respectful of government. They can't produce money that doesn't exist," Smith said. "Healthcare can not be divorced from the world's economy."