Ontario Continues to Unlock Value of World-Class Health Care Agencies and Redirects Health Care Dollars from Administration to Direct Patient CarePublished on June 19, 2019
Over time, Ontario has continued to add new health care agencies without a plan to integrate or coordinate them. As a result, Ontario currently has a large network of provincial agencies that has created confusion for both patients and providers and has resulted in significant administrative duplication.
In response, Ontario's Government for the People is unlocking the value of Ontario's world-class health care agencies and is redirecting health care dollars from administration to direct patient care by launching the phased reorganization of the various agencies and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) under the single roof of Ontario Health.
"With each of these agencies having their own administrative and back-office supports, we are needlessly duplicating operations and spending money that we desperately need to pay for and enhance direct patient care," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "These agencies often work toward separate visions, following their own distinct workplans, and are not well coordinated around a unified vision for patient care."
As part of the first phase, including the reorganization of six health agencies and 14 LHINs, the government is eliminating duplicative administrative positions, nearly half of which are currently vacant. Examples of duplication include positions in communications, planning, data analytics and financial services. None of the impacted positions provide direct patient care. In fact, as the government makes these changes, there will be no negative impact on frontline care, which will continue uninterrupted.
"We understand that our plan will impact individuals' lives," said Elliott. "That's why we have asked agencies to responsibly avoid filling vacant positions and accept early retirements to minimize the impact of the reorganization into Ontario Health. We are eliminating duplicative administration, and redirecting those savings to direct patient care. We can all agree that funding frontline services instead of duplicated administration will do more good for Ontarians and is a far better use of health care dollars."
As was submitted to the Standing Committee on Estimates, the government expects to save approximately $250 million this year by eliminating duplicative administration, which is being reinvested in direct patient care.
There is already evidence of savings being reinvested in frontline care. Cancer Care Ontario has reallocated $1.6 million from back-office savings to fund positron emission tomography (PET) scan services in Sudbury.
The savings realized from reorganizing these agencies and removing duplicated administration is equivalent to annual funding for 700 hospital beds or more than 6,500 long-term care beds. These administrative savings are also helping the government invest in direct patient care priorities, including:
- $384 million more in funding for hospital operations
- Increased funding to create 15,000 long-term care beds in five years
- An additional $267 million in funding for home and community care
- Approximately $90 million in funding for a new dental program for low-income seniors.
The government will continue to coordinate and connect Ontario's public health care system to ensure it is more efficient, sustainable and here for Ontarians today and for generations to come.
- In addition to the 14 LHINs, the government is moving several agencies under the single roof of Ontario Health, including Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, Health Quality Ontario, Health Shared Services Ontario, Trillium Gift of Life Network and HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency.
- Each of the agencies and each LHIN has submitted comprehensive plans which will help to ensure the eventual smooth transition into Ontario Health and to protect and maintain the delivery of patient care.
- This year, the government has increased spending on health care by $1.3 billion.