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Ontario Hospital Budgeting -- A presentation to OCHU





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Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

Ford government promise falls far short of solving hospital hallway medicine problem

Tens of thousands of new Long-Term Care (LTC) beds needed just to offset aging
The new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario has promised 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next ten years, often connecting this to their promise to end hospital hallway medicine.  But how does this promise stack up with growing demand for these facilities?
Most people 85 and older live in collective dwellings (LTC facilities, seniors residences, multiple level of care facilities).  The setting with the largest number of elders 85 and older is LTC facilities, with about 35% of the population 85 to 89  years old and almost 40% of the population 90 to 94 years. Older people are even more likely to be in a LTC facility.
The population 85 and older is the main driver of the need for long-term care beds.
An additional thirty thousand LTC beds by 2028 will only partially offset the rapid growth in the 85+ population.  The ministry of finance projects 42.5% growth in the most relevant population (85 a…

Has the Financial Accountability Office over-estimated the deficit once again?

Buried in this week's Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report on the Ontario government books is a very quiet admission that Ontario ran a surplus of $700 million in 2017/18 (when using the government's accounting method for pension surpluses and hydro).  Just a year ago, the FAO claimed there would be a deficit of $500 million.

This $1.2 billion over-estimate is not surprising. The FAO has consistently cried wolf.   A year ago, they put the 2016/17 deficit at $2.8 billion (when using the government's accounting methods).   Now they put it at $1 billion with the same accounting methods.  

Towards the end of the 2015/16 fiscal year they overestimated the deficit for that year by $3.3 billion to $5 billion more than they subsequently admitted.  Even after that fiscal year ended, they put it at $2.2 billion more than they later admitted.

Now the FAO has changed its accounting methods (following the Auditor General) to claim a much higher deficit.  Accordingly it too forecas…