Skip to main content

For some things, there's lots of bucks. Ontario MOHLTC 'provincial programs' gets 37% increase

The provincial government Estimates (a document where the government lays out in some detail how it intends to spend the money in the provincial Budget) indicates that health care 'provincial programs' are going up $943,146,400 this year compared to last year.  (Line item 1412.)  Just shy of a billion dollars.

Now that's a whopper of an increase: a 37.5% increase in fact!

While the provincial government is giving its own 'provincial programs' a massive increase, the LHINs (the main funder of hospitals, home care, and long term care) will be getting a miserly 1.5% increase.

In fact the total increase for the LHINs, $322 million, is about a third of the $943 million increase for the (much smaller) 'provincial programs' budget.

A cynic might suspect the government is giving itself a free hand to make funding announcements, while the LHINs are stuck with the job of telling hospitals, homes, and home care providers that 'There's no money, there's no money!".

So what is included in the 'provincial programs' envelop? It  includes a rag tag variety of items -- e.g. Cancer Care Ontario, Operation of 'Related Facilities', HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs, and Chronic Disease Management Programs. But it appears that these items are getting puny increases, much like the LHINs.

The only real winner is the very vaguely named item, "Community and Priority Services".  Sounds like that gives the government a lot of leeway to fund what they want, when they want.  And make a few funding announcements along the way.  (Hey, wait a minute, isn't an election coming up about a year from now?)

But predictable funding for health care providers that lets them plan ahead?  That is taking the back seat, it seems.

By the way -- the $943 million increase for 'provincial' programs' is a lot more cash than the government will ever save this year with its 'compensation freeze' for the broader public sector.


Popular posts from this blog

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…

Health care funding falls, again

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 …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

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.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…