This week I am focusing on the Ontario Government’s funding announcement for hospitals and how this applies to us here at UHN.

I know many of you are aware that UHN is scheduled to receive slightly over $29 million in additional funding in 2017-18. This additional funding is certainly welcome and we have reviewed the detailed information provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term-Care (MOHLTC) to understand the impact on UHN.
I have summarized the allocation below:

  • Approximately $20 million is for increases to support a variety of targeted provincial programs, specialty programs, Quality Based Procedures and priority wait times here at UHN. This enables us to treat more patients with the provision that we achieve targeted patient volumes and provide care within the costing allocation. This is good news for our patients who need our specialized services. 
  • Approximately $4 million is allocated for high growth to address capacity and access challenges due to significant growth in demand for services.
  • The remainder of $5 million in net funds is related to Health System Funding Reform base increases that are not allocated to specific incremental patient volumes. This $5 million will go directly to our base budget to support all of UHN’s cost structure and represents 0.5% of our base clinical budget.
    • To put this $5 million increase into context, it is important to recognize that the annual impact of inflation on UHN is approximately $20 million. This includes annual increases in salaries, as well as in the increasing costs of utilities and supplies. As a result, we will need to continue to seek savings through efficiencies and opportunities for improvement identified in the Operational Review performed in 2016. 

We know some groups or individuals may have thought that ‘$29 million means that we may be able to stop doing work from the operational review’ or ‘there is new money that can be used to expand this unit or our program’. However, neither of these statements is true. While the $29 million is an improvement over years past, this only partially offsets the financial impacts that we are seeing because of increases in volumes of patients, drug costs, salaries, our utilities, and the investments needed to maintain our facilities. 

As a values-based organization, we are committed to our core value of stewardship. This will enable us to respond to our patients’ needs, invest in our infrastructure, and have funds available to deal with financial pressures. Our Senior Management Team will continue to work with our colleagues around the province, the Ontario Hospital Association, and our provincial government to demonstrate the continued need to support Ontario’s hospitals. 

We will need everyone’s support to steward our resources wisely, so that we may achieve our financial target in 2017-18, while setting the organization up for future success. I know we are a resilient organization and we can do this together.


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