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Ontario’s Budget Highlights Affecting Healthcare

Ontario’s Budget Highlights Affecting Healthcare

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The overall health budget for 2016/17 is $51.785 billion, an increase of 1.79 per cent. In the medium-term, health expenditures are expected to reach $52.8 billion in 2017/18 (a 1.96 per cent increase) and $53.7 billion in 2018/19 (a 1.7 per cent increase).

Funding for Hospitals

  • All Health System Funding Reform (HSFR) hospitals will receive a one per cent increase (to be confirmed) to the global base portion of their funding in 2016-17, and a further one percent increase to the Health Based Allocation Model (HBAM) funding envelope (approximately $50 million).
  • Small, rural and northern hospitals (not included in HSFR) will also receive a one percent increase in funding, which represents $7.5 million.
  • A targeted investment of $50 million will also be made to fund additional Quality Based Procedure (QBP) volumes. This funding will be invested in both hospitals and Cancer Care Ontario.
  • $175 million will be invested in provincial programs, specialty hospitals for children and mental health and Post-Construction Operating Plans (PCOPs), and to address access and wait times.
  • The Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) will grow by $50 million, from $125 million to $175 million.
  • Site-specific allocations are still to be determined and will be communicated in the weeks to come.

Primary Care

To further reduce wait times for key health care services, the Province is planning to:

  • Expand the scope of practice of registered nurses, allowing them to prescribe some
    medications directly to patients; and
  • Make more vaccines available, such as travel vaccines, through pharmacists.
  • Ontario will invest an additional $85 million over three years to ensure primary care
    teams can effectively recruit and retain qualified inter-professional staff.
  • Ontario is investing an additional $1.3 million annually in Ontario’s Aboriginal Health
    Access Centres to support the expansion of information management systems.

Home and Community Care

  • The government plans to continue to fund growth in community-based care at about five percent per year to 2017/18, as committed to in previous Budgets.
  • The Province is investing an additional $75 million over the next three years in community- based, residential hospice and palliative care, for a total of about $155 million.
  • The government will invest an additional $10 million annually in Behavioural Supports Ontario to help long-term care home residents with dementia and other complex behaviours and neurological conditions.
  • The Province will increase its investment in resident care needs (i.e. long-term care) by two percent a year over the next three years.

Cancer Care

  • The Province is investing an additional $130 million in cancer care services over the next three years, allowing for the delivery of more services and preventive programs.
  • Ontario is also investing in infrastructure to improve access to stem cell transplantation programs. This investment will create highly specialized rooms to enhance the life-saving services provided at Toronto’s University Health Network, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre and The Ottawa Hospital.

Specialized Care

  • In 2016/17, the government will provide about $1 million to fund support services for those affected by pregnancy and infant loss, including resources to train volunteers and support parents and families who have experienced loss.
    Mental Health and Addictions
  • Ontario is providing $1.5 million to the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre in Ottawa to support the construction of a new 30-bed youth residential treatment facility that will increase capacity, improve efficiency and ensure client needs are met in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • The Province is providing $2 million to 10 Indigenous organizations to engage with their communities and make recommendations on the unique mental health and addictions issues facing Indigenous peoples.

Health Promotion

  • The Province is proposing to authorize pharmacists to administer a wider range of vaccines, increasing immunization efficiency and convenience for Ontarians.
  • The government is making the shingles vaccine free for eligible Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 — saving them about $170 and reducing emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
  • To further support smoking cessation prevention efforts, the Province is increasing the tobacco tax rate by $3 per carton of 200 cigarettes, and increasing tobacco taxes annually at the rate of inflation beginning in 2017. The Province will use $5 million of increased revenues from the tobacco tax to support a new investment that will enhance priority populations’ access to smoking cessation services, no matter where they live in Ontario.

Source: Ontario Hospital Association

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Ontario’s Budget Highlights Affecting Healthcare

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