Musyj calls for hospital mergers despite lack of supporting evidence

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj is suggesting the best way to bend the health care cost curve is to amalgamate his hospital with Windsor Hotel Dieu Hospital.

As usual, Musyj lacks any evidence to support his suggestion, made before an audience of Rotarians in that city.

He may instead want to look at the independent Canadian Health Services Research Foundation web site, which says there is no evidence that such mergers save money.

“While the intuitive appeal of ‘bigger is better’ in hospital mergers is powerful, it’s clear the empirical evidence is weak and the potential for negative outcomes significant,” the Research Foundation states.

The Foundation warns that mergers are particularly difficult on staff morale, which has a direct impact on the quality of patient care.

They also note that mergers can disrupt services and absorb more management attention during a transition period, also affecting patient care.

The Windsor Star notes that the merger may be a tough sell given the last such merger cost the region two hospital sites and beds.

When mergers do occur, senior management usually go cap in hand to their boards, asking for more compensation to deal with the greater responsibility they now face.

Other money saving ideas Musyj gave the Rotarians include cuts to outpatient services and charging patients a fee for emergency room visits – the latter a clear violation of the Canada Health Act.

Musyj said Ontario needed a Royal Commission to look at the way the province delivers health services.

He also defended the LHINs, suggesting moving administrative offices to London or Toronto would not be in the best interests of his community.

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