Today’s release by the Ontario Health Coalition regarding the 2012 report by the Auditor General of Ontario:
Toronto – The Ontario Auditor General’s report released today raises warning flags about inadequate access to care and the perils of for-profit privatization.
The Auditor General found wait times for long-term care that are extraordinary. Crisis clients are waiting more than three months for placement and wait times have tripled. The provincial Ministry of Health response did not mention the lack of long-term care beds, only its plans to download patients into home and community care where funding per client is lower than it was a decade ago.
In Ontario’s privatized clinics (Independent Health Facilities) the Auditor found inadequate monitoring, poor inspections, a lack of financial oversight and inequitable access to care. This is of significant concern as the government is moving more and more services out of hospitals into privatized clinics.
Among the Auditor General’s key findings:
- Waits for mammography are up to ten and a half months in some areas of Ontario (page 47) but mammography screening, particularly in smaller hospitals has been closed down and centralized out-of-town.
- Almost one-third of patients who require follow-up colonoscopies are not receiving them within prescribed wait times, and wait times remain too long.
- Wait times for long-term care placements have tripled since 2004, with median wait times at 98 days in 2011/12 (page 186). In March 2012 people in crisis waiting for long-term care placements had waited a median of 94 days up to that point; moderate-needs clients had waited 10–14 months; and most other eligible clients had been on the wait list “for years”. Further, during the 2011/12 fiscal year, 15% of clients died before receiving LTC home accommodation (page 187).