Who is responsible for hospitals?
- Public hospitals in Ontario are governed by a Board of Directors and are, for the most part, incorporated under the Corporations Act.
- Each hospital determines its priorities to address the needs of the communities it serves and allocates its budget accordingly.
- The Public Hospitals Act, and its regulations, provide the framework within which hospitals operate.
- The 14 LHINS have offices throughout the province and are the local contact for area health service providers, including hospitals, with regards to funding and planning.
- The corporate Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care office develops operational policy for the ministry, and for the hospital, regarding hospitals.
How are hospitals funded and administered by the Province?
Most Ontario hospitals are governed by a Board of Directors. The Board has legal and management responsibility for the hospital and it is accountable to the ministry for the use of its provincial subsidy grants.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) ensures accountability to the hospital sector through various legal, and funding mechanisms. The MOHLTC monitors hospital activity through annual Operating Plans, in-year variance reports, and a number of other data submissions.
Operating Plans describe how hospitals intend to run their operations over the coming fiscal year while the data submissions report on the outcomes. Ministry approval of Operating Plans is required before hospitals implement any changes to the services they provide.
Funding for hospital services is governed under the authority of the Public Hospitals Act. Funding is based primarily on a principle of global (or base) funding budgets provided to each hospital annually. These budget allotments are based primarily on past allocations and annual adjustments to reflect changes in costs. In addition, special program funding is available for new/expanded programs and specialized high cost services, like cardiovascular and dialysis services and treatments.
Separate funding is also provided for capital construction projects. The hospital Board and management work with their local community to determine the most appropriate use of their funding to provide hospital programs and services to their community.
Provincial payments to hospitals constitute approximately 85 % of total hospital funding. The remaining 15 % of hospital funding is provided through a variety of sources such as charges for semi-private and private accommodation, Worker's Compensation payments, and others.
For the most part, physicians' services provided to hospital patients are not part of the global budget but are paid through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
How many hospitals are there?
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to a strong, stable, publicly-funded hospital system that efficiently provides high-quality patient services through a system of mixed hospital types and funding methods.
Ontario has four different hospital types including Public Hospitals, Private Hospitals, Federal Hospitals, and Cancer Care Ontario Hospitals.
There are 227 hospital sites. Of that, 150 are hospital corporations (e.g. Hamilton Health Sciences), and an additional 77 facilities are hospitals under an umbrella corporation (e.g. Hamilton Health Sciences' Henderson site).
Ontario has seven private hospitals currently providing services under the Private Hospitals Act, six of which receive funding for their operations from the Ministry.
What is the difference between psychiatric and publicly-funded hospitals?
The hospitals commonly referred to as "Provincial Psychiatric Hospitals" are owned by the Province, and operated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, pursuant to the Mental Hospitals Act. They are funded solely by, and report directly to, the ministry.
Public hospitals are incorporated under Corporations Legislation, or by an Act of the Legislature. They receive funding from the ministry, but have other funding sources, such as charitable foundations. Public hospitals must comply with the Public Hospitals Act and the regulations under that Act.
The Provincial Psychiatric Hospitals are designated psychiatric facilities under the Mental Health Act, and comply with that Act when providing specialized mental health services. However, many Public hospitals are also designated psychiatric facilities under the Mental Health Act, and provide a range of in-patient and out-patient mental health services, in addition to the medical, surgical and other services provided at general hospitals.
What does the ministry pay if I need to go to a hospital in Canada?
Your essential hospital care services are covered. The ministry pays all the physician and nursing care you receive in hospital. It also pays for prescription drugs as well as diagnostic services done in hospital, such as laboratory tests and X-rays.
If you want a private or semi-private room, you or your insurance pays the fees the hospital charges for these rooms.
The ministry pays for any Home Care services or follow-up care at hospital that your physician orders.
How do I make a complaint?
If you have a complaint or concern about the care you or a family member received, you should contact the hospital directly and ask for the Patient Advocate. If there is none, ask for the President or Chief Executive of the hospital.
What was the name of the agency that was making decisions about hospital restructuring?
The Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) was an agency at arms-length from government that reviewed reports, recommendations and public submissions of cities examining the future of their hospitals. It then decided how hospitals should change, including if any of the hospitals should close. The HSRC completed its mandate and was closed March 28, 2000.
What if I need hospital services outside of Canada?
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan only pays for limited coverage for hospital services outside of Canada. You are responsible for paying the difference between what the hospital bills you, and what OHIP pays.
It is important to get private health insurance when you travel outside of Canada. Hospital care can cost much more than the ministry pays. For more information, contact a private insurance company directly, or call the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. at
1-800-268-8099. In Toronto, call 416-777-2344.