Province dedicating $8.8 million to help steady QHC finances

QHC CEO and President Stacey Daub and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. (Submitted Photo)
JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

A major cash infusion by the Province of Ontario to help balance the books at Quinte Health Care has been announced.

The Ontario government is  providing Quinte Health Care (QHC) an additional $8,816,000 to help cover historic working funds deficits.

Quinte-region MPP’s Todd Smith and Daryl Kramp announced the funding late Sunday evening.

“We recognized that small- and medium-sized hospitals, including multi-site hospitals like Quinte Health Care had been underfunded for years, yet they continued to do everything possible to provide the highest quality of care,” said the Bay of Quinte’s Smith. “This investment will wipe out QHC’s debt and set them on a solid financial footing moving forward.”

Hastings Lennox & Addington’s Kramp added that hospital stability in the shadow of the pandemic was in every resident’s best interest.

“Our government is committed to working with health-care partners, like QHC, to ensure they have the stability and resources they need to maintain and enhance patient care as we emerge from this pandemic. I know that QHC will put this funding to good use to benefit those who need care at each of its four hospitals,” Kramp added.

The new funding is in addition to the more than $5.8-million increase to QHC’s base and one-time operational funding that MPP Smith announced in Bancroft in July.  It is part of up a commitment of up to $696.6 million across the province to address historic working funds deficits in a $1.2-billion strategy to help Ontario hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19.

“Ontario’s hospitals have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is using every tool at our disposal to support them,” added Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This funding will ensure Ontario’s hospitals can continue to provide high-quality care to all Ontarians and that our hospital system is ready to respond to any scenario this fall.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, Ontario has been working with hospital partners like QHC to create unprecedented capacity and to prepare to respond to any scenario. The government remains committed to supporting hospitals so they can continue to care for Ontarians now and in the future.

Stacey Daub, QHC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, was pleased to learn about the funding.

“This funding injection to shore up the working capital deficit significantly improves QHC’s cash position,” said Daub. “Working capital deficits has been a systemic issue for hospitals like QHC for several years. It’s reassuring that the government has listened and is making this important investment in the stability of QHC and community-based hospitals across the province.”

QUICK FACTS

  • A working funds deficit occurs when an organization’s current liabilities exceed their current assets. All hospitals that had a working funds deficit in 2019-20 qualified for this funding.
  • As part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario’s hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, including on evenings and weekends.
  • Under the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion in the hospital sector in 2021-2022, bringing the total additional investment in hospitals since the start of the pandemic to over $5.1 billion. This includes creating more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity and reduce occupancy pressures caused by COVID-19.