The healthcare portfolio is the single largest expense category on Ontario’s balance sheet, accounting for $51.8 billion in 2016-17 and 38.7 per cent of total expenses. The province began to restrain growth in healthcare expenditures in 2012-13 as part of its plan to balance the budget by 2017-18. Key program changes since 2012 include a four-year freeze in base operating funding for hospitals.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) estimates that total health funding by the Ontario government is only going up by about $352 million in 2016/17 – or about 0.7%. This falls well short of aging, inflation, utilization and population growth cost pressures and deepens the trend in recent years to reduce healthcare and hospital funding in real terms. This has resulted in hospital funding decreases from 2.87% of the economy in 2010-11 to 2.58% in 2015-16. This squeeze on hospital and healthcare funding comes with consequences. Among them:
- Ontario has far fewer nurses working in hospitals than the rest of Canada according to CIHI data
- A 9.6% increase in hospital re-admissions over just 4 years (Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE, 2016)
Ontario hospitals and healthcare facilities need a budgeting solution that will evolve with this changing landscape. Hospitals must allocate their budgets efficiently and precisely, which means their healthcare administrators need a comprehensive budgeting platform that provides a detailed, real-time picture of their operations and expenses. The system should allow for multiple budget scenarios depending on funding levels. In other words, hospitals require budgeting capabilities not offered by conventional budget systems such as spreadsheet software.
Questica Budget is a web-based software solution that includes tools specifically designed for healthcare organizations. It offers the capabilities hospitals and other facilities need to ensure they can provide high-value services on a tight budget, including salary and benefit budgeting, multi-year planning and integration with a wide variety of ERP systems.
At Questica, we provide budgeting software to the public sector – that’s all we have been doing since 1998. We currently manage over $55 billion in annual public sector budgets for over 200 customers including several hospitals and healthcare facilities.
To find out more about developing a budget that can cope with an evolving healthcare funding environment, contact us to arrange a demo of Questica Budget.