Time is running out to save the restorative care unit at the Chesley hospital.
South Bruce Grey Health Centre President and CEO Paul Rosebush says they have been told by the Southwest Local Health Integration Network there's no new funding coming to help cover the $800,000 per year cost of running the program, which is slated to close May 1.
Rosebush says they need to find the funds within their base budget to keep the RCU operating, pointing out there's likely only one plausible way to find the funds, and that's cutting other beds.
"The real options are closing other beds, so reducing or eliminating some acute care beds, possibly in Chesley or other locations [Durham, Walkerton or Kincardine] to be able to free up the funds to sustain this program," says Rosebush.
The restorative care unit allows patients to extend their hospital stay by about a month to receive rehabilitative services aimed at improving quality of life after returning home.
Rosebush says the LHIN has asked the hospital to include the restorative care unit in its budget proposals for the fiscal year that begins on April 1.
However, he says if they were to continue operating the RCU without cutting other services, the hospital corporation would be facing a projected deficit of more than $1.3-million, which Rosebush says can be reduced to a projected $700,000 by cutting the RCU in Chesley.
Rosebush says they continue to look at scenarios that would keep the RCU open, but adds they have yet to find an acceptable solution.