Starring down a $5.9 million deficit for 2016-2017, St. Joseph's Health Care in London is slashing 60 positions at the hospital.

Brass blame a lack of funding increases from the province for the move.

The hospital's Board of Directors has approved the upcoming fiscal budget with a $17 million gap in operations on a total budget of $424 million.

“Faced with a $17 million gap, St. Joseph’s needed to make some difficult decisions,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s in a release.

Several programs at St. Joseph’s including mental health care and transitional care at Parkwood Institute.are being affected.

In total, St. Joseph’s is cutting 60 positions, 49 of them are full-time, seven part-time and four casual.

But in the release, Dr. Kernaghan says that figure will be lowered.

“Thanks to ongoing work with unions and staff, through mitigation and attrition 12 out of the 60 positions will result in actual layoff, and there will be further opportunity for mitigation during the layoff notice period,” says Kernaghan.

Also, in October, St. Joseph’s will be removing 12 temporarily funded transitional care beds and transferring three beds to the Complex Care Program at Parkwood Institute.

The hospital will also be adding eight new personal care partner positions.

Dr. Kernaghan added, “It’s never easy. Changes like this can be very difficult for the individuals, our organization and the community. But we know in order to meet our targets and live within our budget constraints we needed to make tough choices. Maintaining quality care and safety was a core principle of our budget saving strategies as we worked to minimize impacts to St. Joseph’s, our staff and the people we care for.”