RELEASE: Better but not cured: Health Coalition responds to Wynne pre-election funding announcement
Posted: March 22, 2018
(March 22, 2018) Toronto – Today’s hospital funding announcement is a move in the right direction but still falls short, the Ontario Health Coalition reported at Queen’s Park after the announcement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a 4.6 per cent increase in hospital funding to be unveiled in next week’s provincial Budget, just weeks in advance of the June 7th election.
The Ontario Health Coalition is asking for a 5.2 per cent hospital funding increase, multi-year funding and a concrete plan to reopen closed hospital beds, wards, operating rooms and clinics that have been steadily closed down throughout years of cuts.
“While we are obviously positive that the Wynne government is moving in the right direction, today’s announcement is still awfully last minute and the funding announcement coming just weeks before an election does not erase a decade of hospital cuts,” said Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition.
In the 2017 Budget the Ontario government planned to bump up hospital funding during the election year and then drop it to 3.2 per cent after the election. The Coalition wants clarification as to whether Premier Wynne still intends to drop the funding back down one year from now, as was the case in the last provincial election.
The Coalition has spent the last 12 years fighting local hospital cuts, closures and privatization. “We have saved a dozen small and rural hospitals, birthing units, emergency departments and a vast array of beds and services,” Mehra said. “However, it has taken years to start to turn the tide. We are concerned that this announcement is temporary and insufficient – and not enough to redress the cuts.”
- Ontario has the fewest hospital beds per population of any province in Canada. As a consequence Ontario has the worst overcrowding crisis in its hospitals of any province or developed country.
- Ontario funds our hospitals at the lowest rate in the country.
- Ontario has the highest rate of hospital readmission in Canada.
- Ontario has the least amount of nursing care in our hospitals of any province in Canada.
Links to charts and data sources: www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca Health System Facts+Trends