OHA Calls on All Parties to Aggressively Increase Funding for Community
Services, Especially Mental Health and Addictions
TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's health care system is facing
significant challenges, and given how interdependent the health system
is, it is essential to immediately implement province-wide capacity
planning, including hospital based care, and aggressively increase
funding for community services, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA)
"While there is always more work to do, Ontario's hospitals have become
highly efficient in recent years," said Anthony Dale, President and CEO
of the Ontario Hospital Association. "At the same time, they continue
to experience growing demands for service and relentless pressure to
bend down the rate of cost growth. Under these circumstances, it is
essential that all Parties commit to aggressively creating much greater
capacity in health services outside of hospitals in order to ease
pressures on emergency rooms and reduce wait times for discharge from
For nearly a decade, Ontario's hospitals and their partners have been
working to address the needs of patients identified as requiring
alternate levels of care (ALC). And while considerable gains have been
made in bringing patients the right kinds of care, there are still on
average, 4,000 patients on any given day waiting to receive the care
they need in another, more appropriate setting.
In addition, today's ALC challenge is very different from what was first
identified as a growing problem in 2006. This is due to the
increasingly complex nature of these patients' needs. Evidence
demonstrates that a growing number of ALC patients have mental health
and addiction conditions and require care solutions that are best
delivered outside of the hospital setting. Examples include:
Round-the-clock behavioural support programs in long-term care and
Housing and social services,
Education and income supports, and
Over-arching prevention strategies.
Because these needs have not been appropriately planned for, they are
not always available and so many clients and patients remain in
hospital not receiving the right types of care that they need. As a
result, Ontario's health care system increasingly runs the risk of
increased congestion within emergency departments and longer wait times
for discharge. Health system performance data directly suggests that
these challenges only stand to grow over time if not addressed
Expanding funding and capacity for the right kinds of community support
services is what is needed to ensure that Ontarians can get the best
possible care where and when they need it.
"Ontario's hospitals want to build on the work that is being done today
and continue to transform the health care system by looking to the
future and planning for services based on the actual needs of people at
the local, regional and provincial levels," said Marcia Visser, Chair
of the OHA. "Capacity planning is a building block for the future and
it needs to be put in place today."
To read more about the OHA's health system policy ideas and
recommendations, visit www.oha.com/letstalksolutions.
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public
hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and
partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care
system for all Ontarians.
A data analysis of Ontario's alternate level of care (ALC) challenges is
available at www.oha.com/eralc.
SOURCE: Ontario Hospital Association
For further information:
Amy Clark, OHA Public Affairs