Ontario hospitals lead the country with their longstanding, lean operational performance. However, they are clearly showing signs of strain – largely due to multiple years of funding restraint, the lack of system-wide capacity planning, significant demographic growth and a shortage of capacity in other health sectors.

Given the extraordinary gains in efficiency made by Ontario hospitals, the expectation that more can be harvested simply isn’t realistic, and at many organizations, continued access to high-quality hospital services is now at risk.

The current situation cannot realistically be sustained. As the Ontario government aims to achieve dual goals of deficit elimination by 2023 and initiation of important health system change, it will be critical to ensure that the necessary supports are in place to uphold hospital and health system stability — and ultimately, access to high quality care for Ontarians.