LHINs: The Bad News Bear(er)s

The newly released Ontario Budget Estimates propose to increase Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) funding 2.5% more than in last year's Budget Estimates.

But here's the kicker: as the LHINs got a bit more more than originally budgeted last year, they are now budgeted to get less than they actually got last year!  $21.7 million less.

All I can surmise is the provincial government (god bless 'em!) have put these unelected bodies in charge of handing out the bad news to the hospitals,  homes, community health centres, home care agencies, and local communities.

The provincial government has afforded itself a more pleasant role, increasing the line item for health care "Provincial Programs" by $1.1 billion -- an increase of 37%

In fact, this small (and obscure) budget line item gets over half of the total health care funding increase this year -- 59%

That gives the government a fair bit of cash to sprinkle around to local hospitals and other health care providers in the lead up to the fall provincial election.  So I am expecting  more funding announcements as we get closer to that election.

By the by -- the increase in "Provincial Programs"  funding since 2009-10 (a mere two years previous) is an astonishing $2.24 billion -- an increase of 119%.  The LHINs are supposed to get a  measly a 1.7% increase (or $373 million) over the same two year period.  

Now, as for those Provincial Programs...where should I apply...?

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