President of the Ontario Hospital Association posts video on the future of hospitals as part of NHS consultation

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Posted Jul 29th, 2008

Niagara, ON: With healthcare spending topping $63.8 billion in Ontario this year and financial and human resource constraints facing hospitals across the province, health providers and consumers are having to become as flexible and as innovative as possible in their approach to care delivery. This is the main message Tom Closson, President of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), delivers in a 9 minute video talk posted on the Niagara Health System (NHS) Hospital Improvement Plan (HIP) website.

"The Ontario Hospital Association encourages innovation and supports hospitals as they endeavor to continually improve the efficiency, quality and safety of care they provide to patients," says Mr. Closson. In his video presentation posted on the NHS website he goes on to explain that more than one-third of physicians in Ontario are over the age of 55 and, over half of the nursing workforce in the province may retire within the next 10 years. "I believe that the health care system is sustainable, but only if we are innovative and creative."

Established in 1924, the Ontario Hospital Association represents the 157 hospitals in Ontario. An experienced and well respected health-care leader, Mr. Closson became President and CEO of the OHA earlier this year having previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ontario's largest hospital, the University Health Network, in Toronto.

"I commend the Niagara Health System in its efforts to lead and manage the pressures and challenges that most hospitals are facing.  I also commend NHS for its efforts to inform and engage its health partners and members of the community," said Mr. Closson.

"We identified and incorporated the best practices in health care delivery as part of the process we undertook to develop the vision for change contained in our Hospital Improvement Plan.  We encourage members of the public to go to our HIP web site and view Mr. Closson's presentation.  The more informed we can all be as health care consumers and health care providers, the better choices and decisions we will be able to make," explains Debbie Sevenpifer, NHS President and Chief Executive Officer.

The NHS was directed by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to develop the HIP after it was unable to balance its budget for the year ended March 31, 2008.  The NHS ended the last fiscal year with a $17.9 million deficit on a $370 million budget.   A budget deficit is projected for the current fiscal year.

The public is encouraged to provide feedback through a NHS website at www.niagarahealth.on.ca — through the Your Input section designed specifically for community consultation.  An electronic copy of the HIP and video presentations are also available on the website.  In addition, the HIP will be available in printed form for viewing at any NHS Site Administration Office.

The NHS submitted the HIP to the HNHB LHIN on July 15, 2008.

Niagara Health System