Dear Colleagues,

The budget released yesterday by the provincial government is a complex document with different impacts on Ontario hospitals. Since this is a minority government there may be amendments prior to passage- or the budget may not pass- in which case another election would be called. The excellent summary of what the budget had to say about hospital funding was provided by the Ontario Hospital Association and appear in bold below.  As we get more information about the Ontario budget and what it means to UHN, I will send it along.

Hospital Funding

"Total hospital operating funding is the largest area of health spending and has increased by an average of 5.1 per cent annually since 2003…Treating patients in alternative care settings instead of hospitals, where appropriate, and ensuring access to primary care providers are critical elements of the government's plan to slow hospital expense growth. Measures include:

  • Increasing access to doctors and nurse practitioners by expanding same-day and next-day appointments and after-hours care. This will help patients access primary care providers rather than going directly to hospital emergency rooms
  • Integrating planning for family health care into the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to leverage their expertise in helping patients navigate the health care system and access the right care, in order to reduce hospital readmission rates
  • Holding growth in hospitals' overall base operating funding to zero per cent in 2012-13, while continuing to increase investments in the community care sector by an average of four per cent annually; Total hospital operating funding will grow 2.0 per cent in 2012-13. This is due to ongoing support for key services such as wait-times initiatives and priority treatments, including for chronic kidney disease and transplants.
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