Stew Slater, Metroland Media
There’s no increase in funding for hospitals in the proposed Ontario budget, released on May 2 by Premier Kathleen Wynne.
That’s “no great surprise,” Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance CEO Andrew Williams told board members at a meeting later that day.
“We know that the agenda in the province is very much to grow the care at home and in the community setting,” Williams said. “And while personally I agree that agenda is generally the way to go, it does present its challenges to the HPHA and similar hospital organizations.”
Williams noted, however, the zero per cent increase pledge doesn’t necessarily mean no hospitals or programs will see elevated funding. That’s because of a relatively new Ministry of Health funding formula that calls for money to be allocated based on measurable outcomes of procedures.
If certain hospitals are proven to be providing a procedure above average in terms of cost effectiveness, additional funding may be available.
Not everyone has been as willing to accept the government’s proposed plan; a news release from the Ontario Health Coalition argues the budget “will see Ontario fall further behind” other jurisdictions in terms of funding public health care.
“The result (will be) a burgeoning array of user fees and out-of-pocket costs for residents,” the coalition says. “We are paying for the shortfall in public service investment in a myriad of ways.”