Skip to main content

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.  


  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.

  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.


Post a Comment

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…