Grand River Hospital is planning to cut the equivalent of another 40 full-time jobs as it continues to battle a multi-million dollar deficit.

Back in January, the hospital announced that it would need to lay off about 50 positions in order to tackle its finances.

CEO Ron Gagnon says he’s feeling confident from a financial standpoint, adding the hospital is in much better shape fiscally than it was earlier this year.

“We have a realistic plan,” he says. “One that’s been vetted, one that’s been inclusive of a number of people.”

Gagnon says more than half of the job losses will be through vacancies that won’t be filled, and most other positions will be re-assignments or lost to attrition.

But the Ontario Nurses Association tells CTV News that they’ve learned of 15 cuts to front-line nursing staff.

“They’ll say ‘well, some of those positions are vacant,’”, says ONA President Vicki McKenna. “Well, they might have been vacant, but that doesn’t mean part-time nurses weren’t working those hours.”

McKenna says that, combined with cuts that were made earlier in the year, the hospital has lost about 100,000 hours of registered nursing – a 12 per cent reduction.

Gagnon maintains that the cuts so far haven’t resulted in a loss of clinical services.

He also notes they’ve reduced the number of administrative support and director positions by seven since April.

The hospital needed to find $36-million in savings over the next three years. Now Gagnon says that’s down to $30-million, after the province increased funding to the hospital this year by $10-million.

Gagnon says as of now, they’re on track to finish next year with a $2.5-million deficit. He expects to see surpluses in each of the next two years after.