Skip to main content

Most smaller Ontario communities currently have access to hospital services. Will they in the future?

Key findings from a new ICES report on health care services for people in small town Ontario:

In 2009, communities with 30,000 or fewer residents comprised 2,588,144 people—approximately 22.7% of the Ontario population.
Emergency departments were accessible within 30 minutes by car for 97.8% of the population in communities of 30,000 or fewer  people and within 60 minutes for 99.0% of that population. All Ontario communities with a population of at least 5,000 people had access to an emergency department within 30 minutes.  185 communities were more than 30 minutes travel time from an emergency department (131 in northern Ontario and 54 in southern Ontario). Fifty-five communities did not have access to an emergency department within 60 minutes—all were in northern Ontario. (Institutions were defined as having emergency departments if were open 24/7 and were located at hospital sites with inpatient beds.)
Hospitals with obstetrical delivery beds were accessible to 93.8% of the population in communities of 30,000 or fewer people within 30 minutes and 98.1% within 60 minutes.
 Hospitals with specialized services (trauma centres, burn units, interventional cardiology centres, and neurosurgical centres) were, however, less accessible.   The study estimates 40.5% of people living in communities with less than 30,000 people were located within a 30 minute drive and 72.2% were within a 60-minute drive.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

More spending on new hospitals and new beds? Nope

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…

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 …