Planning for a Strong, Healthy and Sustainable Future
Health care in Ontario is changing to provide better patient care through better value from our health care dollars. The hospitals in Scarborough are working together to ensure that local residents continue to have access to high-quality and safe health care. The Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) and The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) Boards of Directors believe that the two hospitals will be stronger by working together. As members of our community, we care about the future of the Scarborough hospitals and we want you to know the facts.
- RVHS and TSH are proceeding with stakeholder engagement and due diligence in order to determine what benefits a merger of the two hospitals will provide to the Scarborough community.
- There have been no decisions made regarding a merger. We are first seeking valued input from the people in our community and hospital staff, physicians and volunteers in order to inform the hospital Boards in their decision making.
- We recognize that the status quo is not an option, and together we must find better ways to deliver high quality, accessible health services to the Scarborough community.
- There have been no decisions made regarding changes in hospital programs and services stemming from a proposed merger.
- Only after receiving stakeholder input and completing our due diligence would the Boards of the two hospital organizations make decisions about the option to merge.
- The final decision on merger will be made by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
Our commitment to you is to work in partnership with our community, staff, physicians, volunteers, and other health care providers to determine how we can better coordinate and integrate health services for the community of Scarborough, while building a strong health care system for future generations.
- Our hospitals continue to provide care of the highest quality during this time of health system transformation. Both hospitals have been recognized nationally and provincially, by independent bodies, for providing high-quality and safe care.
- All of our hospital sites will remain relevant, viable and essential parts of Scarborough and West Durham’s hospital and health care system.
- Regardless of any decisions made by the organizations at the end of this process, the four Emergency Departments will stay open at all three Scarborough campuses and the Ajax Pickering campus.
Our vision is to create an integrated system of health services that is responsive to the needs of the population, provides appropriate access, delivers an outstanding experience for patients and their caregivers, and uses our resources efficiently so that these services are sustainable into the future.
Our hospitals’ planning is aligned with Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, 2012, which states:
- The growth and ageing of the population and provincial fiscal challenges require changes to how and where we deliver health care.
- With limited resources, our system requires us to choose carefully between health priorities so that we can best serve patients as we transform our system to improve quality of care.
- Overall, there is a need to make the hard decisions to ensure we’re spending health care dollars in the places where patients’ needs are greatest.
- Of particular importance is the plan’s focus on integration, noting that “if we are to meet the needs of a growing population with multiple, complex and chronic conditions, our health care system must be even better coordinated, with seamless levels of care.” (p. 12)
- “With greater patient-centred integration across all facets of the patient journey, these patients will have a better coordinated plan of care, while gaining greater value from the system.” (p. 12)
Working with our community partners to provide smooth transitions for our patients
As part of Ontario’s health care transformation, hospitals must begin to specialize, focusing on services that can only be done in acute care hospital settings. These programs must also be delivered in an efficient manner, while maintaining high-quality and safe care. Some services that are currently offered in hospital sites will move into community clinics, providing they can be offered at the same high quality and at less cost. For patients, it will mean receiving the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
- The way surgical procedures are performed has been revolutionized due to advancements in technology and medications. The Operating Rooms at TSH are now being utilized for those procedures that must be completed in a hospital setting. The Scarborough Hospital, working with physicians, is redirecting procedures that can be done safely in other settings, including internal and external clinics.
- Of the 20 surgical inpatient beds closed at The Scarborough Hospital, 15 were not operating during the last fiscal year (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013). By consolidating the remaining surgical beds into appropriate size units, we have achieved cost efficiencies and the units are properly staffed with health care professionals.
- The Rheumatology Clinic at TSH provided services to 1,200 patients last year. Those services are now provided safely in physician offices or other care centres outside of hospitals. The Scarborough Hospital has worked closely with patients to transfer their care to a physician.
- Of the 200 positions eliminated at The Scarborough Hospital, 35 of the positions were vacant and there are currently 86 unfilled positions. TSH is also supporting staff with ongoing training and development, and encourages those affected by lay-offs to consider skills upgrading and skill changes so that they may continue their employment at TSH, where possible.
Join the Conversation
Over the next three months, we will examine the opportunities and challenges involved in merging the two hospital corporations. We ask you to participate in this discussion through our stakeholder engagement process, which will happen from early August to the end of October. Stakeholder engagement helps define priorities and point to solutions in health services. Further details will be posted to our websites in the next few weeks. The input received through our extensive stakeholder consultation as well as the due diligence process will inform the hospital Boards in their decision-making process regarding a preferred integration plan.
- During time of change, we don’t always have the answers immediately before us, and that is the case now.
- It is important that we base our discussions and decisions on fact, not speculation. That is why the due diligence phase is so important.
- The important discussion underway can only happen with everyone’s commitment to work together towards a shared vision for the future. We can achieve better solutions together.
- We know that this is not an easy discussion; however, it is one that we must have to ensure that we can sustain our valued health system for Scarborough and West Durham residents.