03) A CLOSER LOOK AT ONTARIO’S HEALTH FUNDING “INCREASE”
By Doug Allan
In the lead up to
They state they will increase hospital funding $518 million, a 3% increase. But, on closer inspection, the funding increase announced for last year was significantly higher.
In the 2016 Budget,
But it looks very much like the actual hospital funding increase in 2016/17 was higher than $485 million – higher in fact than the $518 million increase announced for 2017/18.
A little after announcing the $140.3 million hospital funding increase, the
province, in its 3rd quarter report, announced an investment of $95.4 million
to support additional capacity for stem cell transplants in
Now, in the new Budget, the government has raised their estimate of the in-year
health care spending increase from $348 million (in their 3rd quarter report)
to $483 million, i.e. another $135 million increase. The Budget describes the
$483 million health care in-year increase as “primarily due to additional
investments in hospitals to support the needs of patients and reduce wait
times, and funding to support additional stem cell transplants in
So, it is likely that at least half ($242 million) of that $483 million in-year increase went to hospitals. In total that would mean that hospitals got, at least, a $587 million increase last fiscal year ($345 M + $242 M = $587 M).
That would be $69 million more than the announced increase for 2017-18 – 13% more.
The announced hospital funding increase for this year (3.1%) is in fact exactly
half of the percentage increase announced for all other
This all suggests that more funding has got to be announced over the course of this fiscal year if they are going to keep crisis from the door - just like last year.
Premier Wynne told the media shortly before the Budget that she had heard the complaints about hospital funding "loudly and clearly", that she knew hospitals needed her support and that help would be coming.
On Budget day, however, we got an announcement of a smaller increase than the announced increases for last year and further confirmation that they plan to decrease hospital capital funding for new hospital beds and facilities.
Apparently, we will have to speak more loudly and clearly to be properly heard.
P.S.- the good news? Hospitals in low population growth communities around the province are beginning to report funding increases at around 2% of ministry funding for the hospital. This tends to confirm the suggestion in the Budget that all hospitals will get at least a 2% increase in ministry funding. That's good news - but this being confirmed so early in the fiscal year (which began only on April 1) is also very positive.
(The above article is from the June 1-15, 2017, issue of