Skip to main content

Liberals poised to bring market disaster back to Ontario home care. Will this model be exported to hospitals?

Competitive bidding is coming back. Or so it seems. 

As of yesterday, the Ontario Association of CCACs had on their web site a link to a letter reporting that competitive bidding for home care services will come to four communities between October and December of 2010.

As of today, however, the link to the letter is no longer to be found.  But while the link has disappeared, the web page still works. The letter, dated August 13, indicates these plans only reflect "the current planning  among CCACs and is dependent on the issue of MOHLTC Directives for CCAC procurement." 

The Conservative Harris government introduced this model to home care in 1996: it requires Community Care Access Centres to contract out all home care services. 

As a result, for profit corporations have taken over many of the home care services provided by nurses and personal support workers in the province. 

There has been major problems with the quality of of care as longstanding not for-profit provider organizations  lost contracts and workers fled bad working conditions.

The McGuinty government was forced to suspend the system in 2004 due to community protests and, despite sporadic attempts to bring it back, that is how it has remained ever since.

Price based funding (called by the Liberal government "Patient based funding") is a pretty similar model and the Ontario government has begun to introduce it to Ontario hospitals -- but so far only for a relatively small portion of hospital funding.  There are serious concerns this will expand and bring with it more privatization and more commercialization to hospital care. 

The Ontario Health Coalition is holding a series of summits in towns across the province on this model (also called 'fee for service' funding) as it threatens to wreak major damage on Ontario hospitals.  See here for more information on these very important OHC events.


Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.

This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.

Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.

As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…