Ontario Health Coalition

Ontario Health Coalition

February 25, 2016 10:37 ET

Media Advisory: OHC Releases 2016 Pre-Budget Briefing

Where We Stand: Ontario's Ranking in Public Service and Health Care Expenditures & Cuts

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 25, 2016) -

Attn: Assignment Editor

Later today, when Minister of Finance Charles Sousa tables the 2016 Ontario Budget, many will be looking to see what is in store for Ontario's health care system. Since at least 2008, hospital global funding increases have been set below the rate of inflation. Since 2012/13 global hospital budget funding levels have been frozen. In sum, this means that global hospital budgets have been cut in real dollar terms (inflation-adjusted dollars) for 9 years in a row. This is the longest period of hospital cuts in Ontario's history and there is no end in sight. The evidence shows that the hospital funding formula and austerity measures that have cut global hospital budgets in real dollar terms for almost a decade, have resulted in a dramatic reduction in needed services. By key measures, Ontario now ranks at the bottom of comparable jurisdictions in key measures of hospital care levels. Ontario's government is making budget choices that cut and privatize public services and health care. These are choices, not necessities.

As a result, hospitals large and small in every geographic region of Ontario are cutting needed services. Hospitals are now at dangerous levels of overcrowding; staffing levels have dropped precipitously; and patients are suffering as they are forced to wait longer and drive further to access care and are discharged before they are stable.

The Ontario Health Coalition is deeply concerned about the cuts to our province's public hospitals and is focusing on one recommendation for the 2016 Ontario Budget; that the hospital cuts be stopped immediately and that hospital funding in Ontario be restored to the average of the other provinces in Canada. The funding must go to restoring and improving service levels to meet population need.

To see how Ontario compares relative to other provinces and jurisdictions on some key measures, please see the Ontario Health Coalition's 2016 Pre-Budget Briefing here: http://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/ohc-2016-pre-budget-briefing/.

Some Notable Trends:

  1. Ontario ranks at the bottom of the country for hospital beds per 1000 population.
  2. Ontario ranks near the bottom of the entire OECD for hospital beds per 1000 population.
  3. Ontario is at the bottom of the country for nurse to patient ratios.
  4. Ontario and Quebec continue to compete for last place in hospital funding per person.
  5. Ontario is second last in the country for public hospital funding as a percentage of provincial GDP.
  6. Ontario is near the bottom of the country for public hospital funding as a percentage of all provincial program funding.
  7. Ontario's hospitals are running over capacity. In many instances bed occupancy rates exceed 100%.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Health Coalition
    Kim Johnston
    Campaign Director
    416-441-2502 (office)
    647-381-7025 (cell)