Skip to main content

Harper promises on health funding fall short -- But how about those Liberals?

Premier McGuinty has called for a ten year deal on federal health care funding.


Right now, the federal government provides more than $10 billion through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) for public health care in Ontario.  That is a lot of cash, almost a quarter of total provincial government health care spending.


Under the existing ten year agreement with the provinces, originally negotiated in 2004, federal government increases added over $800 million in new health care funding for the province of Ontario this year alone.  But the accord runs out in 2014 and the Harper Conservatives  failed to make any solid commitment to continue to increase the CHT prior to the election call.  In fact., they did not even mention the CHT in their party program.


The end of the current CHT "escalator" would be a devastating blow to public health care.


Thankfully, the election campaign has forced the Conservatives to change this line and promise to increase federal health care funding at the same rate -- sort of.


As it stands, the outgoing Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty only promised two more years of increased funding.  But what happens after that  is anyone's guess.  So McGuinty's call for a ten-year deal is very much to the point.


Notably, however, the increases in health care spending the McGuinty government has delivered over the last two years fall far short of the increases in federal health care funding.  And the increases the McGuinty government projects for the future fall shorter still.


I might add that the federal Liberals also failed to put CHT increases into their election program.  That's a pretty major omission.


And even Michael Ignatieff's new letter on health care (that attacks Harper for falling short on the the CHT) only promises to maintain the CHT escalator "beyond 2014".


That's about as vague as Flaherty's commitment.  And it falls far short of a promise of a ten-year deal, as called for by McGuinty on April 15th.


For more on Stephen Harper's long standing attacks on public health care see Murray Dobbin's new article on Rabble.ca or Tom Walkom's piece in today's Star.  


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…