Skip to main content

Hudak ducks fight for health care funding

It was a fight, but, during the federal election, the people forced the federal Conservative Party to commit to increasing health care transfers to the provinces by 6% for two years after the expiry of the current ten year health care transfer deal in 2014.  

But we only squeezed two years out of the Tories.  The last deal guaranteed secure transfers for ten years.  Much more of a push is needed to get a commitment beyond two years.

Now Tim Hudak is the latest Tory to drag his feet.  When asked by the Globe and Mail "if he would push the Prime Minister for a second 10-year accord, Mr. Hudak would say only that he wants funding to continue."

This appears to be as feared: Hudak has clammed up in Conservative solidarity.  People outside of the federal and provincial Tory parties have been calling for a ten year deal with the same escalator for some time.   

Unfortunately, Hudak's position goes directly against Ontario's interests. New federal health care funding is going to be vital.  In fact half of the new funding Hudak has promised for health care would come directly from the federal government.  On his own, Hudak is only coming up with about 1.6%. (That won't even come close to covering inflation.) So Hudak knows all too well that the continuation of the escalator is vital. 

Both the Ontario NDP and the Ontario Liberals are demanding the Feds agree to a ten year deal with the same 6% escalator as in the last ten year deal. 

Hudak has to decide if he is part of the Ontario team, or the Harper Tory team.


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…