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Under pressure

THUNDER BAY -- Being constantly over-capacity continues to put pressure on the hospital's budget. Despite now having 425 patients, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is only funded for 395 beds.
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The hospital is facing a $5.6 million deficit projected for the end of the year. (Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com)

THUNDER BAY -- Being constantly over-capacity continues to put pressure on the hospital's budget.

Despite now having 425 patients, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is only funded for 395 beds. That, along with the overtime costs for staff dealing with the patient increase, has the hospital running a $5.6 million deficit projected for the end of this year.

It was a similar story last year before the province kicked in one-time funding and savings in supplies allowed executive vice-president of corporate services Peter Myllemaa to present a $19,000 deficit for 2013 to the hospital board Wednesday evening.

Given that the overall budget is around $300 million, it's pretty balanced. But if the hospital sees the same volume again this year, it will face a similar problem.

"We're facing the same pressures going forward," he said.

Myllemaa said more long-term care beds in the city is starting to relieve the pressure a little.

And administration is always working with the Ministry of Health and the Northwest Local Health Integration Network to try and find solutions.



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