Officials at Windsor Regional Hospital say 80 jobs will be lost in an effort to balance their budget.

Hospital CEO David Musyj says most of the staff impacted by the losses will be in the housekeeping and food services departments.

Musyj tells CTV Windsor 20 people have already been let go, and they will now look at achieving the other savings through attrition and retirement options.

Musyj admits a cut to housekeeping may mean longer wait times for patients to get a bed, but he insists the job losses will not affect front line clinical care.

“No clinical services will be negatively impacted one iota,” says Musyj. “From a patients perspective, nothing is going to change."

The changes come after an “Optimization Review” was done by the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network to examine the current and future financial health of Windsor Regional Hospital.

It was voluntarily agreed upon by WRH, and involved a facilitator Rob Devitt.

The review identifies $7.3-million in cost savings to get to a balanced operating position for the 2019/20 fiscal year. Officials say it involves a 0.8 per cent reduction in expenses.

That includes a cut for the senior physician team at the hospital.

Musyj, who was the highest paid public sector employee on the so-called 2018 Sunshine List, says the senior physician team will take a three per cent unilateral pay cut.

“Trust me, i don't do this for the money. I really don't,” says Musyj. “I love Windsor-Essex. I was born and raised here. With all due respect, if I leave, the next person coming in will probably get more money than me but if I was in this for the money folks, I would be long gone."

Unifor leaders say members working at the hospital were shocked by the news.

"Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj is trying to sell these layoffs as necessary cost improvements that will have no impact on direct patient care," said national Unifor president Jerry Dias. "That could not be further from the truth. These layoffs will result in longer wait times for patients to receive hospital beds and delivery of food services."

Unifor Local 2458 has requested a meeting next week with senior management to discuss the proposed layoffs. The local will be holding membership meetings where an update will be provided.

"The hospital's motto is outstanding care – no exceptions, but in this case it seems treating workers poorly is an exception the hospital prides itself in," said Tullio DiPonti president of Unifor Local 2458.

Musyj tells CTV Windsor they have yet to hear if the province will confirm their funding for this year to the tune of $8.2 million, but either way, he says they must save $7.3 million.

“Not only are we going to be one of the most efficient hospital compared to our peers, we're going to be one of the most efficient hospital in the province period,” says Musyj.

The complete financial review is on the hospital's website.