More than 400 administrative employees will soon be without a job as the province continues its reorganization of six health agencies and 14 local health integration networks.
In total, the province will be eliminating 825 "back-office" positions but the government says almost half of those jobs are currently vacant.
The cuts come as the Ford government works to consolidate Ontario’s local health integration networks, along with Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and multiple other agencies, to create a new agency called Ontario Health.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the province said the reorganization of the current system is “redirecting health care dollars from administration to direct patient care.”
“With each of these agencies having their own administrative and back-office supports, we are needlessly duplicating operations and spending money that we desperately need to pay for and enhance direct patient care,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a written statement.
“These agencies often work toward separate visions, following their own distinct work plans, and are not well coordinated around a unified vision for patient care.”
Speaking to CP24 on Wednesday morning, Elliott said the layoffs are estimated to result in about $250 million in savings, which is equivalent to annual funding for 700 hospital beds and more than 6,500 long-term care beds.
“People told us that they wanted more money put into frontline services and that is what we are doing as part of this reorganization,” she said.
Elliott said the province has asked agencies to avoid filling vacant positions and accept early retirements to “minimize the impact” to current employees.
“Anytime a job is lost that is a matter of concern for the individual and their families and it is not something that we want to have to do but it is really important for the people of Ontario to be able to put more money into those frontline services,” Elliott said.
“To people who are losing their jobs, I’m very sorry about that.”