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Hospital costs lower in Ontario

The “cost per weighted case” in Ontario hospitals in 2010-11 was $5,143, according to a new report from CIHI.   (This indicator measures the relative cost-efficiency of a hospital’s ability to provide acute inpatient care.)  The Ontario cost per weighted case compares with a Canada-wide average of $5,230.96.

In other words, the Canada-wide average is 1.7% higher than Ontario.   Ontario has improved its position relative to the other provinces since 2009/10, when the  Canada-wide average was only 0.08% higher.   Ontario’s lower costs are especially significant as (presumably) Ontario hospital wages (like other wages) are higher than most other provinces.  Of all the other provinces, only Quebec has a lower cost per weighted case.

As well, despite the lower costs per weighted case, clinical lab hours per weighted case, diagnostic services hours per weighted case, and pharmacy hours per weighted case were all higher in Ontario than the Canada-wide average.  

Of the reported data, only nursing inpatient service hours per weighted case were lower Canada-wide than in Ontario.  In fact, Canada-wide nursing hours were quite a bit higher than the Ontario average at 47.87 hours compared to 42.55 hours in Ontario.  That is  5.32 hours more hours per weighted case Canada-wide compared to Ontario – 12.5% more.   Presumably this accounts for some significant portion of the lower costs in Ontario. 

More on nursing troubles in Ontario tomorrow.

Photo: Paul Bica, St. Michael's Hospital Toronto


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