TORONTO, ON – A report released today in Toronto shows that the city’s hospitals could lose (in today’s terms) 802 beds and 5,636 staff under the provincial Conservatives’ fiscal plan. Patients too are losing out as emergency room wait times have increased 13.2 per cent since Doug Ford’s government was elected a year ago.
“Far from ending hallway medicine the hospital system is strained with too many patients and not enough beds and the situation is getting worse, not better under this government. The tiny funding increase for home care announced yesterday needs to be seen in the context of a cut of more than $1Billion from Toronto hospitals,” said Michael Hurley president the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
The report released Thursday morning incorporates the recent budget and economic review of Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) which shows that the government plans $8 billion in health care cuts by 2023-24. For Toronto, that means at least a $1.6 billion in hospital and other health care cuts.
The OCHU/CUPE report ‘Protecting What Matters Most’ looked at health ministry spending restraint outlined in the 2019 Ontario budget while factoring inflation, population and aging growth cost pressures. Inflation, population growth, and aging cost pressures combined equal 4.17 per cent. Based on the health care funding the PCs have outlined for the next five years the real per-capita funding shortfall is over 3 per cent per year.
In other words, Ontario would be looking at a real per-capita funding cut of well over 15 per cent over the next five years. If that level of cuts were applied to Ontario hospitals today province-wide, that would mean 4,012 fewer beds and 28,187 fewer staff to serve our current population. For Toronto the cut will be 802 beds and 5,636 staff.
Despite PC announcements for new long-term care beds to alleviate hallway health care, an additional 1,087 Ontarians are on the waiting list for beds, an increase of 3.2 per cent in one year.
Recently the Ontario Hospital Association reported that this past June was the worst on record for hallway medicine for at least a decade and that some large hospitals, including some in Toronto are struggling with inadequate provincial funding.
“The crisis of hospital bed capacity shows up first in the ER as patient admissions exceed available inpatient beds. The Conservatives cannot protect what matters most without increasing capacity and funding levels for hospitals. We are on course for dramatic cuts at Toronto hospitals and across the province,” says Hurley.
For more information please contact:
Michael Hurley, President OCHU/CUPE 416-884-0770
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications 416-559-9300