For all the shortfalls in Ontario’s health system, the reality is that despite having among the lowest per capita levels of funding, the province is matching if not excelling the Canadian average in many categories measured by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
Whether this reflects well on Ontario or badly on the rest of the Canada is an open debate.
CIHI is widely respected as being an unbiased source of information for health planners although they remain at the mercy of local health providers who provide the inputs.
Mortality rates, for example, have been known to fluctuate widely once a hospital has learned to game the system. Only unexpected deaths count, so most deaths become expected.
CIHI has established a site where you can compare provinces on 37 indicators. Just enter your province and determine whether you want the summary or the detailed report. (Click here to access the site)
We sometimes get asked about how we come up with stories for the Diablogue? For us, it’s not a matter of finding stories, but prioritizing material culled from a fast-moving stream.
Last week we focussed on the outrageous decision by Canadian Blood Services to increase imports of American-sourced plasma products while closing the last dedicated Canadian plasma donor clinic in Thunder Bay.
However, there are many issues out there, and only limited BLOG time for us. Here’s just a taste of some of the stories we missed last week:
Part of the fallout from the provincial budget is the decision to postpone a number of capital projects, including new hospitals. Nowhere is this being more felt that in Grimsby, where the community is upset that the new $138.8 million rebuild of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital has been put on the shelf. The “Rallying for WLMH Committee” has called for a “massive rally” May 2nd. When the hospital faced closure in 1997, more than 7,000 people came out in a similar planned rally.
A new CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) report raised eyebrows when Lakeridge Health and the University Health Network came out at the bottom of list of GTA hospitals. Lakeridge (with sites in Oshawa, Port Perry, Bowmanville and Whitby) pointed out that according to CIHI data, they were doing better than the provincial average on six of seven clinical performance indicators. That includes 80 per cent better than the provincial average when it comes to readmission after hip replacement surgery, and 30 per cent better on knee replacement surgery. An on-line tool that CIHI developed to rate hospitals crashed after it was swamped with users following a front page story in the Toronto Star.
The impact of aging on health care costs may be much less than we thought.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently issued a report on health care cost drivers, looking at a variety of issues.
Overall CIHI says that aging accounts for an 0.8 per cent annual increase to the cost of health care.