Skip to main content

Drummond: More Mike Harris than Mike Harris

As expected, the Drummond Commission has proposed the province shrink and privatize hospital services.

Drummond has recommended that health care funding be limited to 2.5% until 2017-18.  This is considerably less than the 3.6% increase proposed by the Liberals not long before the election.  That proposal caused the Auditor General to observe in his pre-election review of Ontario's finances that $1 billion in hospital savings would have to be made.

The main target for Drummond cuts in health care spending are hospitals.

Drummond is recycling ideas from the Harris era, when the government justified hospital cuts with the claim that they would improve care in the community.  Eventually, after repeated crises, the Harris government quietly changed their policy and began funding hospitals again.

Initially, Drummond had tried to distance himself from the Harris policies, but today he only noted that the cuts would be longer than in the Harris era.


Like Harris, Drummond suggests more amalgamations of hospitals -- and more specialization by hospitals.  In effect, hospital services would be moved from local communities to more distant, centralized locations -- just like Harris.  

Also reminiscent of the Harris era, when the government set up the unelected Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) to make unpopular hospital cuts, Drummond recommends the establishment of a Commission to guide the health care reforms.  In fact the Drummond report specifically cites the HSRC model.  

Everyone but Drummond seems to have regretted the incredibly expensive and ineffective restructuring of health care by the HSRC.  

And, also like Harris, Drummond recommends health care privatization.  The corporate sector does a better job it seems. (To see who they do a better job for, see yesterday's note.)  Private, for profit clinics providing surgeries and other hospitals services through fee for service funding is one privatization initiative he is especially fond of.

Drummond goes further than Harris in one respect -- Drummond appears to conceive of hospitals only as providers of acute care.  That is a long way from the reality of hospitals today (or during the Harris era).  There are thousands of hospital beds that are not acute care -- providing rehabilitation services, complex continuing care, mental health care, restorative care, and long term care. There are also millions of hospital procedures provided to non-acute patients in outpatient clinics.  

How far the Liberals will go down the Harris Progressive Conservative road is a good question.  Health Minister Deb Matthews has already rolled on keeping health care funding at 3% (despite the election promise).  

A lot will depend on how hard local communities (especially small and rural communities which have the most to lose)  fight back. 

Bay Street has spoken. Now we have to hear from Main Street.  

Comments

  1. I usually do not comment, but I reaԁ a few of thе remarks heгe "Drummond: More Mike Harris than Mike Harris".
    I асtuаlly dо havе a cοuple of questiоns foг you іf уou tеnd not to
    mind. Could it be sіmply me or do a few of these
    responses loοk as if thеy аre left by brain dead people?
    :-P Αnd, іf уou are posting
    οn other places, I'd like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you post a list of every one of your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Also visit my web-site :: gluten free ()

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

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…