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The Lake of the Woods District Hospital is looking forward to a more stable funding formula in the future.

For a number of years, the hospital has been advocating for a change to their funding formula, as well as a change to their hospital designation. The hospital was previously defined as a medium-sized hospital, and now it looks like that will be changing.

Vice President of Finance for the hospital, Cindy Gasparini, spoke about the potential designation change to becoming considered as a small hospital, and what changes it may bring.

"It's welcome news for us. We haven't received official notification from the Ministry, but everything is pointing to the fact that this is going to happen. It's something that will help provide more stability to our financial planning in the future. It will eliminate the large fluctuations that we've been seeing in our funding. I think it will be a positive change for us," she said.

The province has recently changed what a small, medium and large hospital is defined as. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has changed the number of weighted-cases needed from 2700 to 4000. 10 hospitals throughout the province are set to change into the small category under the new definition.

"We knew that they needed to do something with the funding methodology. We were having to compete with hospitals that were several times larger than us. We don't have the flexibility that larger hospitals have to absorb big decreases in funding from year-to-year. We've been advocating quite strongly for a change in how we're funded. We do see this as a means of having a more stable set allocation so that we can more easily plan from year-to-year," she said.

Gasparini noted that small hospitals have previously seen one to two per cent funding increases each year, where medium and large hospitals have seen their budgets freeze or have seen slight decreases.

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