Premier Ford Announces more NHH funding

On Thursday morning, Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott joined MPP David Piccini to announce new funding for Northumberland Hills Hospital.  As well as incremental funding to help with the Covid-19 crisis, they also said that increases announced last year would be annualized providing a much needed stability in funding. Premier Ford said that “Previous governments have ignored rural hospitals – but we are not ignoring them”.   Ford also described MPP Piccini as being very persistent in asking for funding in his Riding  – and it has paid off.  Northumberland Hills Hospital CEO Linda Davis said that the Hospital was “grateful to the Government for listening.”  As you can see from the photos below, the announcement was outside (in the heat) with everyone wearing a mask except while actually speaking.

Premier Doug Ford at NHH
Premier Doug Ford at NHH

Premier Ford prefaced his remarks with a word of thanks to front-line workers calling them “the true heroes”.  He also thanked the leadership of the Hospitals – Campbellford Hospital was also the recipient of extra funds.  Ford made a point of complimenting MPP Piccini for doing a great job getting funding for his area. David responded that the Government is “listening”.  Campbellford Hospital CEO Varouj Eskedjian commented that previously, rural Hospitals were “barely surviving”.

The Numbers

Northumberland Hills Hospital will receive $5,619,800 in total additional funding for fiscal year 2020/2021 to meet current and future demands for regular services. Overall Northumberland Hills Hospital will receive a 10.8% increase in funding for 2020/2021. Last year, MPP Piccini announced $3.8 million in additional funding, which is now being annualized.

Minister Elliott said that: “Our government is working with our hospital partners to fix the long-standing issues that disadvantaged funding for small and medium sized hospitals  …..  That’s why we’ve annualized last year’s historic investment of $68 million for small and medium sized hospitals to provide continued financial relief to hospitals in Ontario and ensure patients can access the care they need no matter where they live.”

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Old Guy
11 July 2020 10:15 am

Have you been to the Hospital during the Lock down they weren’t exactly busy out here
in Cobourg / Northumberland I would like to see the new $$$ go to reducing wait times in Emerge instead of just wage increases go to Oshawa or Kingston if you want to see
how its done Not Rocket science just a little restructuring and management know how

ben
10 July 2020 5:52 pm

“Premier Ford prefaced his remarks with a word of thanks to front-line workers calling them “the true heroes”.”

What a hypocrite, how has he rewarded these heroes? limited pay increases to Nurses to .9% next year, failed to provide the promised pandemic pay and rolled back the minimum wage to the lowest of Ontario’s workers.

Actions speak louder than words – obviously Mr Ford – just what do we believe?

Informed
Reply to  ben
10 July 2020 11:00 pm

Maybe they were able to provide the funding as a result of the latest contract?

George Taylor
Reply to  ben
11 July 2020 8:20 am

my daughter in law, an RN has received NARY A CENT in promised pandemic pay!

Old Guy
Reply to  George Taylor
11 July 2020 10:19 am

Lots of people have not received Nary a Cent
Seniors &. people on ODSP got nothing ,
Cost of food and my prescriptions have increased 40 %
hope this is not the New Norm

jimq
Reply to  Old Guy
11 July 2020 11:50 am

The “huge” $300 (or $500 cheques – depending on your income) were in your bank account this past Monday. If you don’t have direct deposit from the Ottawa crooks, then “the cheque is in the mail”.

George Taylor
Reply to  jimq
12 July 2020 6:28 am

Hi! jimq
did indeed receive $300.00 last Mon. but to my knowledge,NO front line workers have received any pandemic pay?

Paul Pagnuelo
10 July 2020 2:08 pm

What great news for our community.
.
Ford and Piccini have really stepped up to the plate on the health care file and we now have a system that continues to improve, as the government demonstrates its true commitment to making lives better for Ontario residents.

NHH is most deserving of the additional funds. As someone who has been hospitalized three times this year with an acute breathing problem, I can’t say enough positive things about all the healthcare workers we are so fortunate to have.

Professional, caring, compassionate and knowledgeable. And the follow-up care afterwards is something also to be commended.

So refreshing to have a Premier that puts people first and a MPP that is truly engaged 24/7 and works hard for his Riding.

The next big thing to tackle by this government is fixing the debacle in long term care created by previous governments that ended up costing thousands of avoidable deaths. Tough oversight and prison terms for those who abuse our seniors should be on the order papers.

ben
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
10 July 2020 6:00 pm

An interesting point Paul, just who is responsible for the crisis in LTC and who should be held responsible for the debacle. It is apparent that this crisis did not originate with the Ford government but they do own it and now have to fix it. They certainly have not fixed it up to date but in fact fed the crisis with underfunding and lax regulation brought on by lobbyists who were former Tory staffers and MPs.

The comparisons to Walkerton are obvious when one looks at the lack of inspections and fear of offending the LTC private sector. If Ford was serioius he would call for an enquiry/commission, with regulatory powers and the ability to be transparent and open. What he has announced for an enquiry is nothing of that sort. Until he does why should we think he is serious about reforming the sector.

Just remember the LTC sector returned multi-million dollars in dividends to shareholders. That would go a long way to reform if that money had been invested in more labour and increased facilities for the residents.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ben
Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  ben
10 July 2020 9:11 pm

Give them a little time Ben. I, for one, don’t want a rushed decision that provides no solution. Should it be public only or a public/private mix? Personally I prefer the latter but with very strict mandatory requirements subject to criminal penalties for non-compliance. And hopefully there will be coroner enquiries into many of the COVID LTC deaths and those responsible at the homes are punished severely for their misdeeds.
.
I don’t have an answer as to why the COVID. premium has not yet been paid to our NHH heroes. I doubt anybody is out to stiff them out of a well deserved extra thank you for risking their lives to protect mine and yours. Perhaps it would be best to seek an explanation from NHH or our MPP before blowing this out of proportion.

I know a Conservative government is not your cup of tea but I for one appreciate the many positive changes that have been made and remain confident the changes we all want made will be delivered.

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul Pagnuelo
CiW
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
11 July 2020 8:43 am

Don’t hold your breath for those changes. I trust this guy about as far as I could throw him. The problems in LTC facilities were initiated with a PC government
( Mike Harris ) but I have no faith in them to repair the system. Publicly funded LTC facilities are the way to go.

While he’s at it, why not promise to rescind funding to Catholic schools and properly fund the public system. It’s time for that too.

The next changes that I see will be shrinking the Green Belt and donating the land to developers. He did promise that to them during the last election campaign.

That’s a lot off of my chest. Like I said, I trust him about as far as I could throw him.

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  CiW
11 July 2020 8:59 am

Publicly funded or publicly delivered? There are two aspects to this debate. Both are important to grab hold of and understand.

ben
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
11 July 2020 12:07 pm

But the one aspect we could agree on Paul, and I am jumping the gun on this, is that no public money should go to the private LTC Corps unless it is guaranteed never to be paid to shareholders or executive wages.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
11 July 2020 12:50 pm

Ben, that sounds reasonable *IF* you agree that no public money goes to a union worker and is never paid to government bureaucrats or political hacks.Your comment is equally absurd, IMHO.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
11 July 2020 2:28 pm

As usual Ken you write an vague and ideological insult couched in your ‘common sense’. absurd!

Fact Checker
Reply to  ben
11 July 2020 1:01 pm

Ben:
So with no dividends to shareholders, why would shareholders invest? Therefore no private LTC companies would exist. Similarly, don’t pay executives…then who will manage these companies?

ben
Reply to  Fact Checker
11 July 2020 2:29 pm

In the same vein why should the private companies get any help from the government to renovate and bring facilities up to standard when they have piles of cash to dole out to shareholders. It all comes down to how much money should go to dividends and how much to routine maintenance and the safety of the residents.

Up to now private companies have been riding on the backs of temporary workers and relaxed standards whilst paying out the maximum of dividends and corporate bonuses.

Of course shareholders deserve a decent return but what is that – certainly not what they have been paid in the last few years at the expense of residents health and safety.

Fact Checker
Reply to  ben
11 July 2020 3:14 pm

Ben: Which private LTCs are getting gov’t help to bring their facilities up to the new gov’t standards? Extendicare? South Bridge?

“….maximum of dividends and corporate bonuses….” Can you provide examples?

I agree that some private LTCs skimp on maintenance in favour of executive pay/dividends. There are also public LTCs that do the same due to inadequate funding. Part of the blame rests with the provincial gov’t for failing to properly inspect the LTC facilities and enforce standards.

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  ben
11 July 2020 3:13 pm

How does paying wages to public healthcare executive differ from paying it to private healthcare executive? Not every private sector executive makes more than those in the public sector.

There should be one set of very strict standards that both sectors are required to abide by. Don’t be blinded by stale ideology that says government must deliver every service.

Gail Rayment
Reply to  ben
12 July 2020 3:33 pm

And can we also ask that the additional funds go towards buying more equipment and hiring more front line workers – maybe even open up more beds, if there are still some closed – rather than additional lines of management?

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  CiW
11 July 2020 12:09 pm

I assume that when you blame Harris, you’re referring to the fact that Ontario changed its structural safety standards back in 1998. Among the changes was that nursing home bedrooms should house no more than two residents. Those LTC homes that didn’t meet the new standard could keep running as-is, with the expectation they would upgrade eventually.

So, although four-person rooms have been considered below standard since 1998, the provincial Liberals had 15 years to fix the problem but chose not to. Yet you are blinded by partisan politics and the fact that Ford has held office for only two years.

I don’t dispute that the government needs to act swiftly to ensure our seniors are protected from private operators who put profit before the health of their clients. But let us be fair. Cheap partisan shots accomplish as much as McGuinty and Wynne accomplished on this file the whole time they were in office.

BTW – There is now quite a compelling argument in favour of a move toward single rooms but the County has to date refused to reconsider the structural layout of the Golden plough rebuild with an extravagant $6 Million archive instead of patient facilities.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
11 July 2020 8:50 pm

Ben, Paul

One point I would like to interject. What is the point of having regulations without an effective, frequent and timely inspection regime, and means of enforcing them which include tough financial penalties if the LTCs fail. Most effective with for-profits, have a point system for managers like demerit points on your drivers’ licence. Reach 10 points and your fired.

The Militarys’ report on the 5 Ontario LTCs was absolutely shocking and proved that regulation without enforcement is a farce … and in this case the most vulnerable suffer.

Minister Fullerton has been in Cabinet long enough that she should have been sacked. She no longer can claim the confidence of the public.Just where does the buck stop in this situation? An incredible number of lives were lost not to mention the suffering. Death by COVID can be excruciating.

And now we find out few if any LTCs have means of isolating an infectious resident and there is inadequate if any air conditioning to boot. Unacceptable! With no effective regulation human nature is such that the same thing will happen again.

Last edited 2 months ago by Keith Oliver
Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Keith Oliver
11 July 2020 10:00 pm

The public will never allow this to happen again. The Ford government knows the public will accept nothing less. Now let’s get on with solving the problem.