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VIDEO: Impassioned debate in legislature on hospital cuts featuring quotes from OHC

Posted: November 2, 2017

(November 2, 2016) The Ontario Health Coalition’s media release was featured in an impassioned debate in the Legislature. Following upon revelations that more than 4,300 patients were treated on stretchers in hallways and other makeshift areas in the first four months of this year in Brampton’s hospital, many waiting 40 – 70 hours for a bed, the NDP raised tough questions of the Premier in Question Period today. I’ve included a myth buster below the video to deal with the false claims of Premier Wynne.

Myth buster 

Is it just that we aren’t keeping up with population growth and aging?

The premier responded by saying that hospital care was not keeping up with population growth and aging, “particularly in high- growth communities”. She did not admit that the cause of the crisis is hospital cuts and she did not admit that there is a crisis. Her contention is a shocking understatement. There is a systemic and critical shortage of hospital beds across this province from border to border. Every single day the Ontario Health Coalition is receiving dozens of horror stories from people who are suffering, whose family members have lost health, sometimes permanently in unbelievable conditions, of people waiting for needed care. While obviously the government will defend its record, the total lack of admission that there is a crisis is very hard to watch.

In fact:

Ontario has the fewest hospital beds left after whopping hospital bed cuts that equate to shutting down all the hospital beds in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia combined

In fact, fully half of all of Ontario’s acute care hospital beds were closed down between 1990 and 2014, and more than half of our chronic care hospital beds have been closed amounting to a whopping 21,000 hospital beds. See the numbers here: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/legacy/static/focus/homecare/Doc7.pdf?token=1496685928

In real dollar terms hospitals have been cut

In the Legislature today, Premier Wynne said that she had increased health care funding (note: that is all of health care not hospitals). She used nominal numbers (a billion dollars) — not real numbers — to make the totals sound impressive. Real dollars are adjusted for inflation. The fact is that Ontario’s hospitals have seen real-dollar cuts to their global budgets for 10 years straight, running from 2006 – 2016. In this current year, hospitals are generally receiving funding increases that are commensurate with inflation. Increased need due to population growth and aging is not funded. The last 10-years of cuts are not funded.

As a result:

Ontario now ranks at the bottom of Canada in hospital funding

Ontario provides hospitals with $1,419 per year and is at or very near the bottom of the country by every way of measuring hospital funding. The other provinces, on average fund their hospitals at a rate of $1,920 per year. That is $500 per person less. Multiplied by 13.8 million people, the shortfall is amounts to billions of dollars.

For the real data on how our hospitals rank see our analysis, taken from government’s own figures, here:  http://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/wp-content/uploads/Pre-Budget-Briefing-Feb-2016-1.pdf

Click here to see our full press release, quoted in the Legislature.

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