TORONTO, Ont. — According to Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data, Ontario spends 25.3 per cent less than the rest of Canada on hospital care. That means that provincial funding for Health Sciences North (HSN) would need to increase by nearly $57 million a year in order to reach the average hospital funding level in the rest Canada.
In the past, Ontario closely followed Canada-wide spending patterns on hospital care. The CIHI numbers also show that Ontario is in the third consecutive year of an absolute per capita expenditure decline on hospitals, said Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) at a media conference in Sudbury today.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623 president Dave Shelefontiuk and Sharon Richer OCHU VP also spoke at the media conference focused broadly on comparing Ontario’s hospital funding with that of other provinces and specifically about how much provincial funding for Health Sciences North would need to increase in order to reach the average hospital funding level in the rest Canada.
“The rain of cuts in Sudbury in acute care, mental health and complex continuing care can be traced to the decision to lag hospital expenditures by 25% relative to the other provinces. Among provinces and territories, Ontario’s Liberal government is uniquely financing a huge cut in corporate taxes by slicing billions from direct hospital patient care,” said Hurley.
Ontario has the shortest in hospital patient stays in the Canada. On a Canada-wide basis patients get 14.2 per cent more nursing care than patients in Ontario.
“Hospitals in the rest of Canada have 21 per cent more practical nurses than hospitals in Ontario. That means patients in other parts of Canada get more direct nursing care than Ontario patients,” said Shelefontiuk at the Sudbury media conference.
Based on CIHI data, Ontario per capita hospital expenditures would have to increase from $1,417.31 in 2012/13 to $1,534.95 in 2015/16 just to keep up with inflationary costs in health care overall. Instead the Ontario government expended only $1395.73.
In addition to falling behind the rest of Canada on overall spending for hospitals, Ontario also lags in spending in other areas. “Despite the claim by the Ontario Liberals that they are putting funding into home and community care, Canada as a whole is spending 16.7 per cent more than Ontario on other health care primarily home and community care,” added Sharon Richer.
OCHU is the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents nearly 75,000 health care workers in Ontario.
For more information please contact:
OCHU Regional Vice-President
President, CUPE 1623