6/3/11

LHIN: "Hospitals don't need any more dollars"

Here's the latest 'thinking' from the head of the Northeast Local Health Integration Network:  "Hospitals don't need any more dollars. That money has to be reshifted to the community."


Jolly also suggested that it all depends if there is the "political will" to finance other options to keep people at home.


In fact, this has been a key part of  health care strategy of every government since 1991:  Bob Rae, Mike Harris, and Dalton McGuinty's included.  They have all preferred to pretend that the hospital wait lists and backlogs can be addressed by a bit more home care.   The result?  Almost twenty-thousand fewer hospital beds, sky-high bed occupancy, and a weak home care system.  


Oh -- and long wait lists.


It doesn't matter that very few patients in hospitals are actually waiting for home care.  What counts, it seems, is that this strategy diverts attention from policies that could actually reduce the backlogs, i.e. policies that would strengthen the range of health care services needed, hospitals, long term care, and home care included.  


After 20 years, and with wait lists pretty bad, you might begin to wonder why some don't begin to wonder about this long reigning strategy that Jolly has repeated.  

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