Expectation that significant savings can be found is no longer realistic
TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) today released a report, Ontario Hospitals: Leaders in Efficiency, which shows that while Ontario hospitals are leading the country in lean operational performance, the sector is now under significant strain, largely due to multiple years of funding restraint, demographic growth and a shortage of capacity in other sectors.
"Ontario hospitals are fiscally responsible and have always strived to maintain access to high-quality care in the communities they serve," said Anthony Dale, President and CEO of the OHA. "But given the extraordinary gains in efficiency made by Ontario hospitals in recent years, the expectation that additional major savings can be harvested simply isn't realistic. Hospitals will always seek to innovate and improve, but for some organizations, continued access to high-quality hospital services is at risk."
The Report states that provincial government expenditure on hospitals is lower in Ontario than in any other province at $1,494 per capita for 2019. If Ontario were to fund hospitals at the average rate per capita for all other provinces ($1,772), it would cost the province an additional $4 billion. This efficiency dividend frees up resources for the province to spend on other important priorities. Ontario hospitals also have the lowest hospitalization rate, shortest hospital stays and lowest cost per inpatient stay in the country.
Today, Ontario has fewer acute hospital beds per 1,000 population than any other province and fewer beds than any other country tracked by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Hospitals are also caring for a record-high numbers of patients waiting for a more appropriate level of care at home or in the community. In September alone, there were 5,372 ALC patients, accounting for 17 per cent of hospital beds, waiting for a different level of care that was not available when needed.
"Over the past year, the government has maintained a strong commitment to eliminating hallway health care through structural change and investments to build more long-term care, home and community care, and mental health and addiction support," said Dale. "While Ontario's hospitals certainly appreciate these efforts, it will take concerted effort and strategic planning over a number of years to address the systemic issues facing the system. In the meantime, investment in Ontario's hospitals is crucial to protect access to care."
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: Amanda Philp, Public Affairs, 416-205-1311, [email protected]