Winds of Change

Writing in reference to series of announcements made by Hon. Minister Deb Matthews

ref: Ontario revamps hospital funding model 

The article states cutting down funding for knee, cataract and hip surgeries.  Wondering if the article got it wrong.  Is it cut or funding linked to number of procedures done?

Also it states that the readmission rates as a measure of quality of care.  Sounds fine, but what happens if the patient is re-admitted another hospital.  It will simply corrupt the data.

ref: Lorne Gunter: Ontario’s new health care funding just recycled bureaucratic thinking

It is indeed disappointing to read that the new funding formula is not linked to healthcare outcomes, but it has more to do with increase/decrease in population and age groups.  Just a different way of allocating global funds.  I agree with the author that the funding formula is way to broad and will not give incentives to efficient hospitals.  It needs to be seen whether the list of procedures under fee-for-service funding are increased over time.

The article also talks about Swedish Model where both private and public provider bid for services.  My question would be, what will happen if public infrastructure were to lose the contract.  Would you shut down a nursing unit??   Something at least I need to know.

ref: Small hospitals excluded from Ontario’s new funding formula

Another similar article about the issue, with a few more inputs.  The funding based on increasing/ageing population, is at best a better means of block funding.  It has nothing to do with the cost and quality of care.  I presume the greatest challenge for healthcare system is how to allocate funding such that it rewards best quality of care and at reasonable costs.  Because best quality cannot be had at “minimum” cost.

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