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We have talked about the financial challenge that Ontario is facing and today we expect that the budget will pass at Queen's Park with some amendments proposed by the NDP.
As I've said before, there is no question that health care funding -- half of all provincial spending -- will be under stress for the next couple of years. Since hospitals account for a large part of Ontario's spending on health care, we know that funding for our hospital will not increase at the same rate as in previous years.
In addition to overall reductions in the rate of funding increases, hospitals are also dealing with changes in the way that we receive money. This is a method where funding follows patient care – named Patient Based Payment or Health Based Allocation Method (HBAM). The impact of these changes is not yet completely worked out, so we are starting our financial year without an exact understanding of what our provincial funding will be.
Despite this lack of complete information we do expect that our funding will be a bit less than last year, wage rates will increase and the price of supplies will increase. Our executives, directors and managers will be watching expenses even more closely than usual and we are expecting that we will make adjustments as the year progresses. At present can say the following:
My apologies for the length of this message but I want to keep everyone up to date with budget impacts as the year proceeds. We will be planning to expand on these messages at UHN Leadership Forums as well as at Town Halls across all of our sites as we get more information.
Thanks to all of you for your help in keeping our commitments this year.