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Showing posts from November, 2013

Ambulance offload delays at hospitals: one step forward (but two steps back)

Ambulances are spending a little less of their time offloading patients according to the 2012 Ontario Municipal Benchmark Initiative (OMBI) report.  

That is positive: time spent offloading patients to overcrowded hospitals could otherwise be spent responding more quickly to 911 emergency calls.  Nevertheless, we remain far behind where we were a few years ago.

The OMBI study reports EMS data for 12 large Ontario urban municipalities --and also Muskoka. It indicates: The percentage of time spent in hospital Emergency Rooms (“offload delay”) has declined from 18.7% of total EMS time in 2011to 17.8% in 2012.  However, this is the same percentage as in 2010 and is up significantly from 2009 when paramedics spent 16.7% of their time waiting in ERs. Indeed, in 2007 paramedics spent 15.4% of their time in hospital ERs, and in 2006 they spent 13.3% of their time in hospital ERs.  In other words, since 2006, paramedics are spending 1/3 more of their time in hospital offload delay.The time it too…

Harper health care cuts: $8.2 billion less for Ontario

The Ontario government says the unilateral federal decision to limit the growth of the Canada Health Transfer will cost Ontario $8.2 billion -- $550 for every individual in Ontario.

The Ontario Fall Economic Outlook indicates that 59% of the Ontario  health care funding increase this year comes from the annual increase in funding from the federal government via the Canada Health Transfer (CHT). 

The federal transfer increase accounts for $752 million out of a total provincial health care increase of $1.272 billion.(Another $181 million comes from the increase in the Employer Health Tax revenue, with not much coming from other Ontario based revenue sources, like income or corporate tax.) 
The share of new funding paid for by new federal CHT funding is up from 56% in 2012-13 and 25% in 2011-12.  Federal CHT funding now provides 24.7% of Ontario provincial government health care funding.

Unfortunately, the federal government has unilaterally announced plans to reduce its increases for health…

Ontario has highest share of private health care expenditures

Ontario has the highest share of private health care expenditure in the country, according to data in a recent report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).  Private expenditures in Ontario run to 32.3% of total health expenditures, higher than any other province (Saskatchewan is at only 24% private expenditures, Manitoba at 25.3%, and Alberta 27.1%).

Total public sector expenditure in Ontario in 2013 is forecasted at only 67.7% of total health care expenditure, significantly below the Canada-wide average of  70.1%.   

While the Ontario public sector expenditure is down a tick from last year (67.8%), the Canada-wide public sector average is up 4/10ths of a percent (from 69.7% to 70.1%).   

This year, public sector expenditures in Ontario would need to increase 6.3% just to meet the Canadian average -- a $248 increase per person. 

So it is perhaps not so surprising that private health expenditures are 5.3% higher in Ontario than Canada as a whole ($1,883 in compared wit…