Stronger Hospitals, Better Care – A Message from the Ontario Government and a Citizens Group’s Critique-

Major Funding Boost Will Reduce Wait Times, Address Capacity Issues and Provide Better Care Closer to Home

A News Release from the Government of Ontario followed by a critical analysis from the Ontario Health Coalition, a citizens advocacy group,

Posted March 27th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Late this March, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced there will be an additional $822 million investment in Ontario hospitals in 2018-19 — an increase of 4.6 per cent.

Niagara area politicians gather with Ontario health minister at rural Niagara Falls site in Fall of 2017 for an update promise that another new hospital in region will one day be built. File photo by Doug Draper

The Premier was joined by Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, at North York General Hospital to explain how this major increase in hospital funding will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Ontario’s growing and aging population.

This overall increase of 4.6 per cent is on top of the 3.2 per cent provided last year — allowing hospitals to invest with more precision in the care and supports that address the specific needs of their patients and community.

Patients and families across Ontario will also directly benefit from this increased funding with the expansion of essential services to reduce wait times and priority procedures such as cardiac care, critical care, chemotherapy, treatment for strokes, hip and knee replacements, and medical imaging.

Increasing funding to hospitals and access to high-quality health care across the province is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change.

The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • North York General Hospital will receive more than $10.8 million in additional funding in 2018-19, representing a 4.4 per cent increase, which includes more than 550 additional MRI hours for high-risk patients, and support the hospital’s busy emergency department.
  • In February 2018, Ontario renewed its support to address increased need for hospital beds with a $187 million investment in 2018-19 that further supports access to care and reduced wait times.
  • Hospital operating funding in Ontario has increased by more than 65 per cent, from $11.3 billion in 2003-04 to almost $19 billion in 2018-19.
  • The province invested an additional $100 million in 2017–18 in home care supports and services.
  • Ontario is creating 5,000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade.
  • Ontario is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history — an increase of $2.1 billion over four years.
  • Starting in August 2019, Ontario plans to make prescription drugs free for seniors through OHIP+ for seniors 65 and over, building on the province’s biggest expansion of medicare in a generation that has already made prescription medications free for everyone under the age of 25.

Additional Resources

·         Speech from the Throne

·         Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

·         OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare

A MEDIA RELEASE  from the Ontario Health Coalition

Better but not cured:  Health Coalition responds to Wynne pre-election funding announcement

Ontario Health Coalition director Natalie Mehra

Toronto, Ontario  – The Ontario Wynne Government’s recent (March 22nd) hospital funding announcement is a move in the right direction but still falls short, the Ontario Health Coalition reported at Queen’s Park after the announcement.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a 4.6 per cent increase in hospital funding to be unveiled in next week’s provincial Budget, just weeks in advance of the June 7th election.

The Ontario Health Coalition is asking for a 5.2 per cent hospital funding increase, multi-year funding and a concrete plan to reopen closed hospital beds, wards, operating rooms and clinics that have been steadily closed down throughout years of cuts.

“While we are obviously positive that the Wynne government is moving in the right direction, today’s announcement is still awfully last minute and the funding announcement coming just weeks before an election does not erase a decade of hospital cuts,” said Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

In the 2017 Budget the Ontario government planned to bump up hospital funding during the election year and then drop it to 3.2 per cent after the election. The Coalition wants clarification as to whether Premier Wynne still intends to drop the funding back down one year from now, as was the case in the last provincial election.

The Coalition has spent the last 12 years fighting local hospital cuts, closures and privatization.  “We have saved a dozen small and rural hospitals, birthing units, emergency departments and a vast array of beds and services,” Mehra said.  “However, it has taken years to start to turn the tide. We are concerned that this announcement is temporary and insufficient – and not enough to redress the cuts.”

Fast facts:

  • Ontario has the fewest hospital beds per population of any province in Canada. As a consequence Ontario has the worst overcrowding crisis in its hospitals of any province or developed country. 
  • Ontario funds our hospitals at the lowest rate in the country.
  • Ontario has the highest rate of hospital readmission in Canada.
  • Ontario has the least amount of nursing care in our hospitals of any province in Canada.

Links to charts and data sources: www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca   Health System Facts+Trends

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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One response to “Stronger Hospitals, Better Care – A Message from the Ontario Government and a Citizens Group’s Critique-

  1. Linda McKellar.

    Deja vue all over again. It must be an election year.

    Natalie’s statement is the one that matters, not Wynne’s, and god forbid not Ford’s. The cash always ends up where it’s least needed anyway. I often wonder why towns and small cities pay taxes at all.

    Like

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