TORONTO, June 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Ontario Hospital Association Chair Marcia Visser released the following statement as the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs began public hearings on the 2013 Ontario Budget implementation bill, Bill 65, An Act to implement Budget measures and to enact and amend various Acts:
"Ontario's hospitals were very disappointed that the government failed to use its 2013 Budget to move forward with the kind of legislative reforms necessary to ensure that arbitrators adequately consider hospitals' ability to pay arbitrated compensation awards to hospital employees. A recent arbitration award, made public just days after the 2013 Budget was read, imposed $22 million in new annual costs on hospitals at a time when hospital funding is scheduled to increase by 0%, and demonstrates how necessary these reforms are. This award, and others like it, will put additional pressure on patient services at many hospitals.
Ontario's hospitals are already the most efficient in Canada. They are running nearly at capacity. Compensation is the single biggest cost hospitals have. In the absence of significant reforms to the way health service are planned and delivered, and to Ontario's labour arbitration system, hospitals have increasingly limited ability to absorb significant additional costs. The government and most legislators acknowledge these pressures exist. It is unfortunate that they missed this opportunity to act."
SOURCE: Ontario Hospital Association
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