OPSEU’s Rick Janson joins OHC Director Natalie Mehra for the release of the coalition’s “Austerity Index.”
We can all relax now. All those hospital cuts we’ve witnessed recently – Health Minister Deb Matthews says they are not happening.
She says these services are instead being shifted. Evidently we are all fools for not realizing that the 22 beds cut at the Chatham Kent Health Alliance just represent a transfer of services to entities like the Erie-St.Clair Community Care Access Centre, which is itself cutting $8-$10 million after the LHIN refused to allow them to run a $5.2 million deficit.
Hamilton Health Sciences says $25 million in cuts are planned and expects 140 jobs will be impacted. Perhaps Ms. Matthews can tell us where these 140 jobs are re-emerging in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN? And while she’s at it, where did the LHIN reallocate the 69 beds the Niagara Health System cut in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012? We can’t seem to find them anywhere. Neither can the hospital, which had to cancel or postpone 758 surgeries due to “bed pressures.” Maybe those beds were needed after all.
Perhaps she can tell us where the after-hours clinic, pain clinic, audiology clinic and cardiac rehabilitation program closed by Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre shifted to? We can’t find them. Can she?
Posted in Ontario Health Coalition
Tagged Champlain CCAC, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Cuts to Ontario Hospitals, Erie St. Clair CCAC, Health Minister Deb Matthews, Natalie Mehra, Niagara Health System, North Simcoe Muskoka CCAC, Ontario Health Coalition Austerity Index, Rick Janson, South East CCAC, Toronto St. Joseph's Health Care
Asking how the ratio of management to front line staff has changed at a public hospital seemed like a straight-forward question.
In this era of obsession with hyper-efficiency, you’d think the Ministry of Health, the Local Health Integration Networks and the hospital boards would be asking this question, and asking it regularly.
Doesn’t everyone want more live bodies actually delivering diagnostics, acute care and rehab?
To be fair the Ministry breaks down data by what they describe as “unit producing personnel” (UPP) and those whose “primary function is the management and or support of the operation of the functional centre” (MOS). Oddly the terms themselves suggest that managers don’t actually produce anything, which is much further than we would certainly go. (Note to managers reading this – are you really okay with these terms?)
If all this confuses you, apparently it does for hospitals too. There have been past complaints about the consistency and subsequent validity of such data. In our recent survey of the changing ratios of managers to front line staff, several hospitals opted (with our permission) to give us the UPP/MOS data instead of interpreting themselves who was in fact a manager.
Conducting what we thought was a basic freedom of information request, we received data in various formats and continually got the question: what is management?
Earlier this year we issued a freedom of information request to 20 sample hospitals where OPSEU represents health care workers to understand whether managers are in fact replacing front line health care workers.
Nine of 20 hospitals reported an increase in managers proportionate to front line staff over the past five years.
It’s a frequent complaint we hear.
While the requests were sent out in February, the information took much of the year to trickle in.
Resources are getting ever tighter in the hospital world – Ontario hospitals are experiencing no increase in their base budgets this year. How hospitals allocate their funding does matter.
Some hospitals actually reduced managers – at Kingston General Hospital, for example, managers dropped from 146 in 2008 to 125 in 2012. Staff has remained almost exactly the same over the past five years at 2,453. Other hospitals that dropped managers include the Chatham Kent Health Alliance, South Grey Bruce Health Care and the Windsor Regional Hospital.
Others show that our members were right.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Hawkesbury and District Hospital, Kingston General Hospital, Mackenzie Healthcare, Niagara Health System, Ontario Shores, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Ratio of management to front line staff, Royal Ottawa Group, The Ottawa Hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Waypoint Centre, Windsor Regional Hospital, York Central
Now that hospitals are subject to Freedom of Information requests, how accessible will this information really be? It all depends on the hospital and how much money you have.
It cost us $1,637.76 to find out what the ratio of staff to management was at 20 hospital corporations. That includes the $5 processing fee it takes to initiate the request.
Hospitals came under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act on January 1st of this year, although the Ontario Hospital Association sought and received additional exemption from divulging quality information under specific circumstances.
For years we have heard front line staff complain that their numbers have dwindled while the ranks of management have increased. We decided to test that question with requests to 20 randomly selected hospitals where OPSEU represents members. This includes four mental health centres – Penetanguishene’s Waypoint Centre, Whitby’s Ontario Shores, London’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Regional Mental Health), and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.
Posted in Health System, Hospitals
Tagged Bluewater Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, FIPPA, Freedom of Information, Grey Bruce Health Services, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hawkesbury and District Hospital, Health Sciences North, Hospital Freedom of Information, Kingston General Hospital, Niagara Health System, Ontario Shores, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Quinte Health, Rouge Valley Health System, Royal Ottawa Health Group, South Bruce Grey Health Centre, The Ottawa Hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences, Waypoint Centre, Windsor Regional Hospital, York Central Hospital