According to Winchester District Memorial Hospital spokesperson, Jane Petricic it is unclear how an announcement made Monday, concerning changes to Ontario’s method of funding hospitals, will impact the local hospital.
“At this time, we don’t know anything more than is in the announcement,” said Petricic, Brainstorm Communications for WDMH. “We’re still awaiting additional details.”
According to Monday’s press release issued by the office of Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, “Ontario is making changes to the way it funds hospitals to ensure families get access to the right health care, at the right time and in the right place.”
The new patient-based funding model will see hospitals funded based on how many patients they see, the services they deliver, the quality of those services and other specific community needs. Currently, hospitals get a lump sum based on their previous year’s budget with no link to the type or quality of care they provide.
Working in partnership with hospitals, Ontario will phase in the new patient-based funding model over the next three years.
The new model will also provide a better return for taxpayer dollars and result in: shorter wait times and better access to care in their communities; more services, where they are needed; and, better quality care with less variation between hospitals.
Allowing health care funding to follow the patient instead of the hospital is part of the McGuinty government’s Action Plan for Health Care and builds upon the significant progress that has been made in improving Ontario’s health care system since 2003.
According to Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, “our current funding model for hospitals is out of date and doesn’t reflect the needs of the communities they serve. As part of our Action Plan we are implementing a system that funds hospitals to increase services where needed, deliver quality care more efficiently and serve more patients.”
March Rochon, Interim CEO for the Ontario Hospital Association, said, “the Ontario Hospital Association has been a long-time supporter of patient-based payment because it has tremendous potential to align hospital funding with positive patient outcomes.”
While 91 hospitals are transitioning to the patient-based funding model, 55 small hospitals will be excluded from the new model to recognize the unique role they play within their communities.
Winchester District Memorial Hospital is not among the list of 55 hospitals excluded from the new model.