Ontario health care spending remains much less than other provinces

The government has for some time identified health care and education as priorities for the government, and the 2010 Budget again flagged that status. Accordingly, health care has seen significant funding increases. The provincial government increased health care spending 6% in the 2010-11 Budget.  The four year health spending increase since 2006-7 is 29.1% (from $35.7 billion to $46.1 billion).

The government says it plans to increase health care funding an additional $1.9 billion or 4.12% in 2011-12.   A similar forecast in the previous Budget turned out to be low.  So this may also be low.

Doctors have gotten a large chunk of the new health care funding. OHIP funding for doctors has increased from $8.6 billion in the 2006-7 Estimates to $11.9 billion in 2010-11, a 38.4% increase over four years.

Despite recent increases in Ontario health care spending, Ontario still lags most other provinces. Ontario spends $173 less per capita than the other provinces. It would take $2.3 billion to bring Ontario up to the average of what other provinces spend. Moreover, the gap between what other provinces spend and what Ontario spends has been growing since, at least, 2005.

Hospital spending has been the main way Ontario has achieved lower health care costs -- more on this later.


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