QUEEN’S PARK – In question period, Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson accused the Liberal premier of short-changing medium-sized hospitals across Ontario, such as the Timmins and District Hospital (TDH), when it comes to promised health care funding.
“Our hospital is looking at a deficit next year of close to $5 million, which is going to be catastrophic when it comes to service delivery” Bisson said.
According to the government’s funding formula, funding for medium-sized hospitals in the province remains significantly below what experts and advocates deem to be necessary and well below what the government recently announced would be delivered to medium-sized hospitals, a category that TDH falls within. TDH is set to receive a mere increase of 0.9%, which is 3.7% less than what the government pledged last month.
“These hospitals are trying to provide services in an atmosphere where they have cut to the bone already. […] these hospitals have done everything they can in order to trim out any kind of excesses that they don’t need and we’re seeing it when it comes to patient services.”
TDH has already begun the process of privatizing their sleep lab in order to save $60,000 in their budget. Recently, Sudbury’s Health Sciences North announced cuts to hundreds of full-time jobs as a result of Liberal cuts to healthcare and hospital budget freezes. Recently, TDH teamed up with the Board Chairs of Health Sciences North, the Sault Area Hospital, and North Bay Regional Health Centre to write to the LHIN to warn that lack of hospital threatens basic survival.
Bisson explained that there is a $400 million surplus from larger hospitals that can cover the deficits from the 20 medium-sized hospitals in the province.
“This is a question of shifting the dollars around to make sure that the money is evenly distributed so hospitals like TDH don’t end up with a deficit and are treated like every other hospital in the province so they can provide the services that people need” Bisson said.