CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of
four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term
care (LTC) facilities. New research
indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed
compared to the other provinces. LTC staffing
falls short: The latest data published
by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory
survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term
care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. Part of this is
driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.
Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent
employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation. The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care
FTEs. The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care
staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.
No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per
resident (or per bed) than Ontario.
Hospital funding: There is something off about the provincial government's Budget claims on hospital capital funding (funding to build and renovate hospital beds and facilities).
For what it is worth (which is not that much, given the long time frame the government cites), the province claims it will increase hospital capital spending over the next 10 years from $11 billion to $20 billion – or on average to about $2 billion per year. But, this is just a notional increase from the previous announcement of future hospital capital spending.
Moreover, even if we did take this as a serious promise and not just a wisp of smoke, the government's own reports shows they have actually funded hospital infrastructure about $3 billion a year over the 2011/12-2015/16 period.
So this “increase” is really a decrease from past actual spending. Even last year's (2016-17) hospital capital funding increase was reported in this Budget at $2.3 billion - i.e. about 15% more than they have ann…
Real provincial government health care funding per-person has
fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row. Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person.
Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%. In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).
Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more. Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario.
Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005. Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …