Skip to main content

Hospitals re-admit 1 in 12 patients within 30 days

Hospital patients are being pushed out of hospital too quickly and hospital workers have long seen the sorry result for patients.  So it is not so surprising that the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that 1 in 12 patients are back in an inpatient bed within 30 days of being discharged from hospital .

Canada is a low end outlier in terms of hospital beds, with half of the international norm for acute care on a per capita basis. Ontario is even lower, having cut 30,000 hospital beds in the last 30 years.  Ontario had three times more hospital beds per capita 30 years ago than it does now.   Accordingly, Ontario hospital bed occupancy is off the charts compared to other developed nations.   That in itself is very dangerous.

Worse, the Ontario government plans to cut hospital capacity further.  Ontario hospital inpatient capacity has fallen 33.5% in the last 15 years.  We now have the lowest hospital inpatient capacity per capita of all the provinces – indeed, even the next lowest province has quite a bit more capacity.

Ontario spends less per capita on health care than the rest of Canada.  This is entirely due to the low spending on the hospital sector.  

Health Minister  Deb Matthews continues to spin the nice sounding fairy tale that we can continue to cut hospital services simply by increasing home care (even while her government has reduced home health care services and slowed the increase in home support services).  The reality is the lack of adequate home care is only one small part of a much bigger problem.


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…