TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - With another challenging fiscal year ahead for Ontario's hospitals, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is calling on the Government of Ontario to give hospitals the ability to innovate during this period of intense health system transformation.
After three years without any funding increases for inflation, hospitals are now facing some very challenging budget decisions to contain costs and meet the ever-increasing service needs of patients.
Earlier today, Pierre Noel, OHA Board Chair and President and CEO of Pembroke Regional Hospital, and Anthony Dale, OHA President and CEO, presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on behalf of the OHA's 149 member hospitals.
"Ontario hospitals are the most efficient in Canada. They routinely operate at 90 per cent capacity – or higher – and Ontario's system already has the fewest beds, per thousand, among all of Canada's provinces. Ontario hospitals need to the tools to continue to drive innovation and improve patient care," says Noel.
"Over the past three years, hospitals have shown tremendous leadership in making their operations more efficient. Hospitals have absorbed significant additional costs while growing patient volumes each and every year," says Dale. "With the help of their partners, wait times have gone down and Ontarians are getting the care they need faster. At this critical juncture we cannot afford to go backwards."
The OHA called on the government to continue to invest aggressively in home and community services as these are critical in creating an integrated and high performing healthcare system, especially one that will alleviate the capacity pressures many hospitals are experiencing.
Other recommendations made by the OHA include:
- Creating a province-wide capacity plan to forecast and benchmark the number of different types of beds and services needed;
- Strengthening existing funding initiatives – such as Health System Funding Reform – in order to continue with health system transformation;
- Reforming labour legislation and policy to ensure that arbitration awards reflect Ontario's current fiscal environment and that the Public Sector Labour Relations Act be modernized to ensure that service integration costs are made much more affordable;
- Injecting capital into hospital-wide information technology systems, which would help improve patient care and wait times.
SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association
For further information: Akilah Dressekie, OHA Public Affairs, (416) 205-1376