Monday, June 06, 2005

Hospital Funding Lowest In York

So now the provincial government is shortchanging the Toronto area for health care. York Region alone, as this story notes, on a per capita basis receives $554.00 less than the provincial average. The overall shortfall across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is $544 million dollars every year. Think about what hospitals could do with that money.

On top of that York Region in the past has been the fastest growing region in not just Ontario, but all of Canada. The hospitals have not really kept up to the growth. Hence the 94% occupancy rate of the hospitals. This is nearing dangerous levels as this may already result in backed up Emergency Rooms because some hospitals may not be able to admit patients due to lack of bed space in some high demand departments.

Southlake Regional Hospital (formerly the York County Hospital) in Newmarket is, along with the communities it serves are undertaking an enormous expansion and renovating its current facilities. Much of the money has been raised at the local level by various service clubs, corporate donors and individuals. There is a large community involvement in York Region towards expansion projects.

What is missing is the money to maintain the day to day operations of the hospital. What will happen to the hospital's funding once the new buildings open? The newly expanded Southlake Regional Health Centre will require more employees because the hospital will require more doctors, nurses, cleaners and other employees. Add on top of this the new cancer centre Southlake has been awarded by the province. More money will be required. Yet in recent years, as noted in the article, the province continues to underfund York Region hospitals including Southlake. So when Dalton McGuinty goes after the federal Liberal government for a better deal for Ontario, McGuinty should make sure if a deal is struck that some of this new money trickles down. The money is obviously needed in the Greater Toronto area and especially in high growth areas like York Region that need funding for provincial responsibilities like health care.

Lets also remember that the City of Toronto is also heavily voted Liberal in both the last federal and provincial elections. So both the federal and provincial Liberals had better start paying attention. I don't mean make empty promises to do something. We have seen that at the federal and provincial levels over the Toronto Waterfront that has lead to money being spent on a corporation that has done absolutely nothing in terms of redevelopment except release plans. Why has the corporation done nothing yet spends millions of dollars a year? Because it cannot get the province (or its related ministries), the feds (or its related ministries) and the city to come to an agreement. Mere empty promises with nothing to show for it.

Take note provincial finance minister and Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara of this fiscal shortfall that York Region is experiencing in health care and other possible funding issues. Otherwise, Mr. Sorbara, MPP for Vaughan-King-Aurora (which is all in York Region) you may find yourself without a provincial seat to sit in come the next election because that seat may change from Liberal red to Conservative blue. Why not NDP orange to get more funding? That is highly unlikely since the constituency and its past incarnations (due to population increases the borders have been changed several times) has historically never voted NDP. So best of luck Mr. Sorbara.

Works Cited 

Traber, Chris. “Hospital funding lowest in York.” The Era-Banner. 5 May 2005. Online. Internet. 6 June 2005. Available:

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