Skip to main content

English reforms lose their appeal in Ontario?

England has had a disproportionate impact on health care reform in Ontario over the last decade or so --under both Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments.  

After the election of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat government in Britain in 2010, English health policy took a decided turn towards bonzo-privatization.  (As elsewhere, this was done on a "need to know" basis: the electorate were only informed about the policy after the election.)

So it was with a worried eye that I looked at the latest report on these reforms and what they might mean for Ontario from Ontario's (very establishment-oriented) health care think tank, "The Change Foundation".

The good news is that The Change Foundation shows rather tepid interest in the latest English reforms.  Here, for example, are their two take away lessons from the English reforms:

Quality improvement in primary care must be integrated with a performance measurement framework which is connected and aligned with performance measurement for the broader healthcare system. We need an overarching quality outcomes framework with an integrated, cascading set of measures. Ontario can learn from England’s experience with the NHS Mandate, its closely linked Outcomes Framework, and the integration of performance measurement with payment.
We can also learn from the NHS England’s experience with patient and public engagement. They have a history of involving patients, informal caregivers and the public in the development of healthcare guidance and quality standards, and the Health and Social Care Act provides additional opportunities for patients and families to express their views about their healthcare system.

Not much more than quibbles from where I sit.

Perhaps the Foundation's rather limp interest is connected to the problems the legislation had getting passed, the replacement of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (who had led the reforms), the flack the Tories are getting over the reforms, and widespread doubts the reforms will actually solve anything. 

Photos: Run Prime Minister Run (with apologies to Cary Grant) and Oops! by  Byzantine_K


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…