Ontario’s 2012 budget will leave health care facing even greater restraint than recommended by the Drummond Commission on Public Service Reform.
Drummond’s recommendation to restrain health care funding to increases of 2.5 per cent per year was previously considered unworkable. Tuesday’s provincial budget limits increases in health care spending even further — to an average of 2.1 per cent over the next three years. This year it will be 2.45 per cent.
In dollars, that amounts to $1.1 billion more this year, $1 billion more in 2013-14, and $900 million more in 2014-15.
Gone will be increases in excess of $2 billion per year that were experienced in recent years.
Hospitals will be the hardest hit – their core budgets set at zero. The government has set aside 2 per cent in envelope funding for specific hospital programs, such as wait times initiatives.