Ontario Hospitals are at a Critical Turning Point as Financial Pressures Build - OHA Statement on Parking from Anthony Dale, President and CEO

TORONTO, January 18, 2016 /CNW/ - "Today the government has announced that it will cap parking rates for patients and their families who frequently visit hospitals. The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) understands there are challenges associated with parking, and that patients and families who are often facing difficult times, are affected by these challenges.

Hospitals do their best to provide parking solutions that not only work well for patients and visitors, but also for the organization's operational needs. For the past ten years, government has actively encouraged hospitals to generate revenue to help fund hospital operations. Revenue generated from parking fees is always used for patient care, towards the purchase of capital equipment and projects, infrastructure, clinical research, and day-to-day operations such as facility maintenance. 

Over the past four years, hospitals have shown tremendous leadership in working to make their operations even more efficient. However, after four years without an increase in base operating funding, hospitals are now at a turning point. Hospitals are facing extremely challenging budget decisions aimed at containing costs while meeting the increasing service needs of patients.

As hospitals continue to absorb hundreds of millions in operating costs without an inflationary increase, it is increasingly difficult for them to invest in other important health care priorities, such as capital improvements to their buildings, new medical and diagnostic equipment, and information and communications technology. The decision to cut revenues could not come at worse time.

Hospitals need transitional funding for operating cost pressures so that access to services can be maintained. An inflationary funding increase for hospitals in the 2016 Ontario Budget will keep wait times low, maintain access to elective surgery and ensure that important health service programs are maintained. An investment in hospital operating costs will help to ensure stability within Ontario's healthcare system during this restructuring period."

Ontario Hospital Association
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.

SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association

For further information: Samantha Grant, Public Affairs Specialist, 416-205-1376, sgrant@oha.com


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