New hospital funding formula’s impact on patient care unclear
The plan announced earlier today by B.C.’s health services minister establishes a new provincial bureaucracy to oversee a potentially complex funding scheme for common medical procedures.
HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that today’s announcement raises more questions than answers.
“There are many excellent pilot projects in health care that
have improved access and quality while reducing costs,” says Darcy. “Frankly,
any effort to spread these innovations more broadly across the province is a
positive move for patients.
“Government says that its new funding model is based on these
innovations, but in fact the cornerstone of the new policy appears to be
something quite different – a competition between hospitals to secure funding
for high volume procedures at a set price.”
“It would be disappointing if this policy forced some hospitals to abandon their less profitable patients – those with chronic health conditions – because an increasing share of their funding was linked to high volume, low cost procedures,” says Darcy.
“The devil is in the details, but British Columbians need to know how this new formula will affect their access to a range of quality health services in their own communities.”