Skip to main content

Freedom of information, expense info, and consultant reports coming to Ontario hospitals

Another change proposed in the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act (Bil 122) is to make hospitals subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) as of January 1, 2012.

The change is some time off:  the government, with some reason, claims that it will take the hospitals time to prepare for freedom of information (FOI) requests.  But once in place, records from the previous five years will be subject to FOI requests, the government assures us.   LHINs have been subject to FOI requests since 2005 (the year they were established). Personal health information is excluded from FOI requests.

The Act also sets some requirements for the public posting of expense claim information by designated broader public sector organizations. The proposed legislation requires Local Health Integration Networks and hospitals to post information about expense claims onto their public web sites -- other broader public sector organizations may be required by regulation to do likewise at a later date.  The Ministry of Health and LTC will issue directives setting out what must be reported (s. 8.2).  Reportedly, the reports will apply to the expenses of senior executives.  Regulations may later expand the requirement to report expense claim information to other broader public sector organizations (s.9.2)

As well, LHINs and hospitals will be required to report annually on their use of consultants.  What, exactly, must be reported will be announced later, as the Ministry of Health and LTC is given the power to issue directives on this (s. 5.2 & 6.2).  Again, other broader public sector organizations may be made subject to this requirement through regulation (s.7.1)

Consultants are defined (s. 1.1) as people other than employees who provide expert or strategic advice through a contract.  So no -- hospitals will not be required to report on contracting-out for other services -- services (like housekeeping or food) which eat up a lot more of the budget than when services are contracted out to consultants.

Too bad.

dallan@cupe.ca

Comments

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…