SEPTEMBER 2020 REPORT
With the initial pandemic response, the finances of every type of hospital in every community of the province have been impacted. To avert an all-out crisis, hospitals incurred substantial expenses, as would be expected. What may not be well-appreciated is the heavy losses of key revenue streams that are critical in supporting the core work of hospitals. The end result is that in order to maintain operations, hospitals had to and are continuing to deplete already lean cash reserves and incur unsustainably large deficits. While a full accounting of the financial impact of the first and second wave is pending, a survey conducted by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) in the spring of 2020 provides an early indication.
A preliminary estimate of the combined hospital sector net deficit (shortfall of revenues over expenses) for April and May 2020 only, is approximately $500 million. Included in the net deficit is an estimated revenue loss of $320 million.
In September 2020, the OHA published a position paper, Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Ontario Hospital Finances, outlining the financial impact of COVID-19 on hospitals and the investments needed in 2020 and 2021-22 to keep hospitals financially whole. The OHA's 2021 pre-budget recommendations build on this important paper.