Ontario Hospital Association Calls on All Political Parties to Address Hospital Overcrowding

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 General News
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 PC Party Platform Commits to Significant Expansion of Mental Health Services and Accelerating New Long-Term Care Construction to Reduce Reliance on Hospitals

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2017 /CNW/ - In the lead up to the General Election in 2018, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is calling on all Ontario's political parties to share their plans
to strengthen Ontario's health care system by stabilizing access to services and creating more capacity within hospitals and across the entire range of health services to address the systemic issue of hospital overcrowding.

With the release of the People's Guarantee this weekend, the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Ontario has committed to reducing wait times for care in emergency departments and other hospital-based services by significantly expanding access to services that can reduce inappropriate reliance on hospitals, particularly in the areas of mental health and long-term care.  This follows recent announcements by Premier Kathleen Wynne to expand capacity by opening temporary hospital beds and spaces this fiscal year and by building 30,000 new long-term care beds of the next 10 years.  Ontario's New Democrats have publicly raised the issue of hospital overcrowding throughout the fall.

"Many Ontario hospitals continue to face very significant patient-care challenges," said OHA President and CEO Anthony Dale. "We welcome the recent announcements made by the PC Party to create new health services capacity over the long term, as well as by the government. At the same time, Ontario's health care system hasn't yet turned the corner. It will take several years for this new capacity to come on-line. A significant investment in hospital-based services is essential in the 2018 Ontario Budget in order to simply maintain access to care."

According to recently released data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, per capita funding for hospitals in Ontario is now the lowest in the country, freeing up $5.5 billion in savings annually which the government can spend on other important priorities. This is a $1 billion increase in annual savings over the previous year alone. This efficiency data coupled with new cost pressures such as those created by Bill 148 and extremely high occupancy levels, will cause many hospitals to face very difficult circumstances heading into 2018/19.

"Over the past decade Ontario's hospitals have shown remarkable resilience and leadership as they provided more care with less resources," said Dale. "Given the serious pressures they will face over the next several years, and the time it will take to build significant new service capacity outside the hospital setting, the OHA calls on all parties to address growing wait times and overcrowding by supporting a significant investment in hospital services in the next provincial Budget."  

About the Ontario Hospital Association

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all Ontarians.

SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association

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