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Hospital association calls for cuts

The head of the Ontario Hospital Association is challenging the province to take “courageous” and controversial steps to cut millions of dollars in waste out of the health-care system.

The head of the Ontario Hospital Association is challenging the province to take “courageous” and controversial steps to cut millions of dollars in waste out of the health-care system.

Tom Closson threw down the gauntlet in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada yesterday, warning that the province needs to find millions in health-care savings if it intends balancing its budget, as planned, by 2017-18.

“We have to find ways to take money out of the system, so I think we need the leadership from the government,” he said.

The association has a history of asking the province for more money every year to help hospitals balance their budgets.

But Closson said because Ontario is facing continued “economic distress,” tough, even politically unpopular, decisions must be made when it comes to health-care funding, which now totals $46 billion annually and eats up more than 40 per cent of all provincial program spending.

“What we need now is courage, courage to both create a game plan and courage to act,” he said.

 
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