RELEASE: Ontario Budget: Austerity Continues For Community Hospitals Plus Some Good News on Minimum Wage, Pensions
Posted: July 17, 2014
(May 1, 2014)
In today’s Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance pledged “what we will not do is sacrifice important public services”. But for the fifth year in a row, community hospitals will see their funding levels set below the rate of inflation which will result in further cuts to needed care services, movement of services out of local towns, and privatization.
The worst news in this year’s budget for health care is 0% increase for hospitals for the third year in a row. Overall, the general “austerity” budget approach continues. But there are a few bright lights including an improved minimum wage to alleviate poverty among low income workers and a significant new initiative on pensions that will help alleviate poverty for future seniors. Income inequality is perhaps the most significant social determinant of health.