Woe is the outside consultant working for the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health Promotion.
For years outside consultants represented one of the fastest rising costs in health care. Between 2004-05 and 2008-09 the Ministry of Health came close to doubling its expenditures on consultants, while the Ministry of Health Promotion came close to tripling its consultant expenditures over five years leading to the 2009-10 budget.
According to the results of an OPSEU Freedom of Information Request, both Ministries have dramatically cut back their own consultant expenditures following the 2009 e-health scandal.
In 2004-05 the Ministry of Health was spending $56.6 million on outside consultants. By 2008-09 spending had topped more than $102 million.
By 2009-10 the Ministry of Health had cut back to $35.4 million, and this year spent less than $3 million by the end of May.
At the much smaller Ministry of Health Promotion, the government spent $703,641 in the first year, but by 2009-10 had spent $1.9 million in consulting fees. This year they have spent only $27,000 to get an outside perspective on issues of importance to them.
None of these fees includes expenditures by e-Health or the Local Health Integration Networks. Given the increased role the LHINs are playing, it is possible that some of this consulting may have shifted. Under Freedom of Information rules, requests have to go out to all 14 Local Health Integration Networks.
A year-by-year breakdown on consultant expenditures:
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care:
2010/11: $2,985,074 (to the end of May)
Ministry of Health Promotion:
(The MHP began in 2005/06)
2010/11: $27,000 (to date)