Ontario’s “Drummond Report” describes inefficiencies in the system

February 17, 2012
Feb. 15, Toronto, Ont. – The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services has released its report titled “Public Service for Ontarians: a Path to Sustainability and Excellence.” Prepared by economist Don Drummond, the report contains 362 recommendations to increase efficiency in various sectors, with a ‘substantial portion’ of these centered on health care.

Drummond says this emphasis on health care was necessary as health care “is the largest single item in the provincial budget.” Drummond’s report notes that  “lashing out with major spending cuts solves little” and, instead, lays out a number of areas where reconsideration of strategy could result in healthier Ontarians and more efficient delivery of health related services.

The discussion surrounding health care is headquartered in Chapter Five of the report (www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/reformcommission/chapters/ch5.html).

The chapter includes the following quotes:


“Canadians consistently tell pollsters that they do not particularly care much about the cost of health care — they simply want access and quality of care. The high cost of our health care system could perhaps be forgiven if the spending produced superior results. It does not…The Canadian health care system does not deliver great value for money when judged from a broader international perspective.”


 “We…need to get past our myopic focus on health care to a broader view of health more generally. Health is much more than patching up people once something has gone wrong…Yet amazingly, three-quarters of the influences that account for health outcomes barely register in the health care debate….[currently] the focus is on patching up people after a health problem has struck rather than taking a broader approach that might prevent problems or at least mitigate the effects.”


“The Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Health Care in Canada 2010 report discusses a number of examples of inefficiency in the Canadian health care system…these [inefficiencies] are classic symptoms of a system built for acute care at a time when the needs have shifted more to chronic care…”


“The ideal health system would put more emphasis on preventing poor health. It would be patient-centric and would feature co-ordination along the complete continuum of care that a patient might need.”


“Ontario needs to integrate silos…”


“Interprofessional team-based care, with care managers for the most complex patients, is essential….”


“In this ideal system, payment schemes and information gathering would be aligned to support the patient-centric notion. Compensation for hospitals and physicians would be more closely tied to outcomes of health rather than to the inputs or services.”


“The stakeholders themselves must speak out. Every citizen is a stakeholder, of course, and should pay attention to and preferably take part in any debate. But we must also hear from health care providers of all stripes…”


The health care section of the report makes 105 recommendations for increasing the efficiency of health care delivery in the province of Ontario and concludes, “The clear danger is that if we do not seize the opportunity to begin creating a more efficient system that delivers more value for the money we spend on health care, one or two decades from now, Ontarians will face options far less attractive than the ones we face today.”












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