Hospital funding in Ontario is much lower than hospital funding in the rest of Canada — $4.8 billion lower. The result is successive years of hospital budget deficits, staff and program cuts and much less care for North Bay patients. A report to be released in North Bay on Wednesday (August 10, 2016 at 1:30 a.m., at 120 Lakeshore Drive) will quantify the funding deficit for the last five years.
Using data available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Fewer Hands, Less Hospital Care compares funding, staffing, nursing, and readmissions in Ontario and other provinces. The report indicates how many hospital workers and nurses are missing for the care of the people of North Bay. The data also shows that Ontario has fallen a long way behind other provinces since the Liberals were elected provincially in 2003 — and especially since the beginning of their austerity program in 2010.
According to CIHI, Ontario government per capita funding for hospitals is $1,395.73. The rest of Canada, excluding Ontario, spends $1,749.69 per capita on hospitals. In other words, provincial and territorial governments outside of Ontario spend $353.96 more per person on hospitals than Ontario does. That is a whopping 25.3 per cent more than Ontario. Ten years ago, in 2005-2006, the hospital funding gap between Ontario and the rest of Canada was just 4.3 per cent. As a result, Ontario now provides far less nursing care for patients as the gap in funding between the rest of Canada and Ontario has steadily gone up.
“What’s so disturbing is that the provincial Liberals are proud of cutting hospital patient care. People are sent home from hospital while still acutely ill. They are denied admittance because beds are overbooked and hospital care is effectively rationed. Ambulances are stacked outside emergency rooms, unable to discharge patients,” says Michael Hurley the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU). Hurley will, along with local hospital staff, release the report on Wednesday.
“These are real people in North Bay paying the price for Ontario’s lower hospital funding — they are not percentages and numbers on a page. It’s time for the provincial government to increase funding for hospitals in line with their real inflationary costs,” says Hurley.
For more information, please contact:
President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU)