With as much fanfare as it could muster, the Progressive Conservative government of Doug Ford re-announced its Budget plan of $300-million for hospitals to deal with the backlog of surgeries and procedures caused by the COVID-19 shut down of hospital services.
Despite the (attempted) fanfare, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has reported that the government’s budgeted plan for dealing with the backlog will fall hundreds of millions of dollars short of what is required to clear the COVID-19 backlog over three and a half years. The government says it is not working with the FAO estimates (indeed) and declined to make an estimate of how long it would take to deal with the backlog. The government did, however, state that it will “closely monitor” surgical outputs and wait times and will “implement additional measures if needed.”
The government claims the funding will enable hospitals to operate at 110-115% capacity. Operating room hours will be extended into the evening and weekends.