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Defend Public Healthcare: Rapid change in public hospital services

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) hospital data indicates big changes in hospital activity, particularly in the most recent four years reported. Ontario, especially, is experimenting with hospital cuts and restructuring.  

Hospital inpatient days are now dropping rapidly in Ontario – with a drop of 13.4% in inpatient days over the last four . . . → Read More: Defend Public Healthcare: Rapid change in public hospital services

Defend Public Healthcare: Cascading cuts result in new home care restructuring

The government is coordinating cascading efforts to move patients from organizations where more care is provided to where less care is provided.  

For hospitals, government funding models and directives have long focused on removing less ill patients.  In long term care homes, the government quietly raised the criteria for eligibility for the waiting . . . → Read More: Defend Public Healthcare: Cascading cuts result in new home care restructuring

Political Eh-conomy: Published elsewhere: Ontario is no California when it comes to debt

The Toronto Star just published an article I wrote in response to claims made by the Fraser Institute and the Toronto Sun that Ontario has a runaway debt problem worse than California’s.

The short version: I call BS. The slightly longer version: California has constraints, such as limits on the size of debt and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Published elsewhere: Ontario is no California when it comes to debt

Political Eh-conomy: Strategy, or escape from the privatization matrix (Canada Post, Part 2)

The endgame of the current rounds of cuts at Canada Post is some form of privatization. In the previous post, I argued that privatization proceeds differently depending on context. Many factors – I focused on whether a public service provider is exposed to competition and is profitable – can have an impact. The result of . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Strategy, or escape from the privatization matrix (Canada Post, Part 2)

Political Eh-conomy: Diagnosis, or into the privatization matrix (Canada Post, Part 1)

There is little doubt that Canada Post’s recently-announced plan to eliminate home delivery, raise prices and lay off thousands of workers is not aimed solely at streamlining operations, but is likely a prelude to future privatization of postal delivery in Canada. Canada Post is ripe for the picking: it is a profitable, socially-useful public enterprise . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Diagnosis, or into the privatization matrix (Canada Post, Part 1)

Defending Public Healthcare: Harper health care cuts: $8.2 billion less for Ontario

The Ontario Fall Economic Outlook indicates that 59% of the Ontario  health care funding increase this year comes from the annual increase in funding from the federal government via the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).  The federal transfer increase accounts for $752 million out of a total provincial health care increase of $1.272 billion. (Another $181 . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Harper health care cuts: $8.2 billion less for Ontario

Defending Public Healthcare: Premiers focus on cuts and ignore falling federal health care funding

As feared yesterday— the premiers have rolled.  They didn’t even dare to beg for better federal health care funding in their  media release on health care from their meeting (“The Council of the Federation”) concluding in Niagara-on-the-Lake today.

Indeed, their media release did not even use the word “federal” once.  Federal health care . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Premiers focus on cuts and ignore falling federal health care funding

Defending Public Healthcare: Hospital restructuring picks up (but very quietly)

Community pressures to preserve small hospitals:  Local opposition to hospital cuts has driven Prince Edward County residents to demand that their local hospital be allowed to break away from the multi-site Quinte Health corporation. This is becoming a more common community demand as small hospitals trapped inside much larger multi-site hospital corporations are particularly . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Hospital restructuring picks up (but very quietly)

Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario Finance Minister plans cuts in public services

The Ontario government just lopped another $2.1 billion off their 2012-13 deficit estimate, cutting it from $11.9 billion (as of January) to $9.8 billion. This means that since 2010 when they started their public sector austerity drive, they have now cut their deficit estimates by $18.1 billion.

Deficit (in billions of dollars) 2009–10 2010–11 . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario Finance Minister plans cuts in public services

The Canadian Progressive: Harper cut to Health Council of Canada could signal end of national health care

By: Canadian Health Coalition | Press Release: OTTAWA, April 17, 2013 – The Canadian Health Coalition issued an urgent alert to Canadians in light of today’s news that the Harper Government is terminating its funding of the Health Council of Canada. “This announcement signals Harper’s intention to withdraw essential federal leadership from […]

The post . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Harper cut to Health Council of Canada could signal end of national health care

Defending Public Healthcare: Less nursing, more medical errors

Recent Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data indicates that Ontario has a relatively high number of “nursing-sensitive adverse events” compared to other provinces.  An “adverse event” (or “medical error”) occurs when something happens in the hospital that hurts rather than helps a patient.

Over the last three reported years (ending 2011-12), nursing sensitive . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Less nursing, more medical errors

Defending Public Healthcare: It’s OK to close hospital beds

Aside from the predictable (but fun) response from Deb Matthews to yesterday’s Ontario Health Coalition report outlining cuts in Ontario hospitals (“It is OK” to close hospital beds, she opined), we did get a snippet or two of information from the government.  The Star reports the Health Minister’s office also made these claims:

70 per cent . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: It’s OK to close hospital beds

ParliamANT Hill: Federal jobs distribution stable despite cuts, ClemAnt says

Inspired by these headlines: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/20/pol-federal-job-cuts-regional-breakdown.html http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/20/bc-coast-guard-notice.html

Defending Public Healthcare: It’s raining cuts

Premier designate Kathleen Wynne has strongly suggested that hospital cutbacks will continue   Of the cuts just announced at the Ottawa Hospital, Wynne says the government is “transforming the health-care system, so services that need to be delivered in a hospital setting are delivered in a hospital setting, but services that don’t are delivered elsewhere….It means there . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: It’s raining cuts

Defending Public Healthcare: Funding crisis forces hospital to cancel surgeries

Quinte Health Care is simply stopping elective surgeries for a week to deal with funding shortfalls from the provincial government.  

The hospital’s CEO Mary Clare Egberts told The Intelligencer that the cuts weren’t in keeping with QHC’s new “patient-first” strategy but a lack of provincial funding leaves few options.  The Intelligencer adds that QHC will also . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Funding crisis forces hospital to cancel surgeries

Defending Public Healthcare: Health care cutbacks across Ontario

Sudbury hospital officials expect the shortage of hospital beds in the city will force 4 surgeries a day to be cancelled.  Thirty have been cancelled this month. Dr. David Boyle, the hospital’s medical director of surgical services told the CBC he’s frustrated because his department has toiled away at reducing surgical wait lists. “We’ve . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Health care cutbacks across Ontario

Defending Public Healthcare: 5 Ontario hospitals abandon fight against superbug

Some Ontario hospitals are giving up on trying to control the superbug VRE. No doubt the hospitals a re responding to government funding squeeze on hospitals. Below, infection control experts offer a tart warning of the consequences of this policy. We’ve been down similar road before: past cuts to hospital cleaning helped lead to . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: 5 Ontario hospitals abandon fight against superbug

Defending Public Healthcare: LHIN boss: We are going to take money out of hospitals

“We are going to have to take money out of the hospitals. It’s not a small amount. We’re talking about millions,” Debbie Hammond, CEO of the government’s Central East Local Health Integration Network told the Scarborough Mirror.

The result is hospitals will specialize, focusing on what they do best, Rouge Hospital CEO John Wright . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: LHIN boss: We are going to take money out of hospitals

Defending Public Healthcare: Home care cuts AND hospital cuts

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is planning to cut 22 hospital beds to deal with the government’s funding squeeze.  The bed cuts are supposed to reduce the hospital’s deficit.  

The Ontario government has endlessly claimed that improved home care services will offset hospital cuts. “Rebalance” is the Health Minister’s word of choice.

Despite this . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Home care cuts AND hospital cuts