3/6/12

Closing hospital beds, laying off staff, shutting operating rooms?

The Ottawa Citizen reports that fee for service funding (sometimes called "pay for performance") will increase from 6% of funding in 2012-3 for Ontario's 50 largest hospitals to 20% by 2014-15.  Traditional global funding will fall from 54% to 40%.  


Dr. Richard Reznick, dean of health sciences at Queen's University told the Citizen, "It (the new funding system) takes away any degree of freedom that an executive management team has over a budget and lets the government dive deep into the micromanagement of specific funding lines".  The Citizen adds, "a key concern about the funding changes is that hospitals will lose the ability to predict annual budgets, making it difficult for them to balance ledgers without perpetually putting beds and jobs at risk."


Critics of this funding system note it will open a large door for privatization.

Citizen reporter Pauline Tam notes that the the government has provided little information to the hospitals about the specifics of the new funding model.    "We're blind," Tom Schonberg, chief executive of the Queensway Carleton Hospital, told the Citizen. "We don't have enough details to be able to plan properly."

Tam adds that Hospital officials say their budgets won't be finalized until late summer, well past the first quarter of the new fiscal year. As a result of the lack of information, hospital officials are drawing up contingency plans "to close beds, lay off staff and temporarily shut down some operating rooms."

The full Citizen story can be found by clicking here.  


2 comments:

  1. Hasn't the 'end game' been to open a door, large or small, for privitization? The Conservatives are active in this regard (and Federal Finance Min. Flaherty will get to finish what he started as a Harris neo-con by starving the system country wide); the Liberals let policy drift pave the way for a parallel private system. Once the door is opened a mm, litigation under NAFTA, & CETA will blow it open the rest of the way.

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  2. The Liberals have pursued P3 privatization and now they are opening the door to moving work out of hospitals to private clinics. So yeah, I think you are correct, Bruce.

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