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Drummond Report recommends growth in mental health sector

February 23, 2012

The purpose of the “Drummond Report” (so-named after the TD economist who led the Commission), was to recommend public sector cuts that would provide greater service efficiencies while providing fiscal balance by 2017/2018 and eliminating the potential for greater fiscal deficits. In so doing, the Commission Report proposed over 300 recommendations for system-wide enhancements that would eliminate or redesign programs no longer serving their intended purpose; eliminate areas of overlap and duplication; and provide greater return on public investments in the public sector. The 20-chapter report claims that a small proportion of patients with complex needs account for a high proportion of overall health system costs and emphasizes that preventing ill health and controlling chronic diseases is crucial to moving forward.

There are over 100 health-related recommendations including a larger role for the LHINs, fully uploading public health to the provincial level, improving coordination across the health care system, training more nurses and developing a health human resource strategy.

While spending growth in most public sector areas will be reduced, the Commission recognized that mental health care has been chronically underfunded and has therefore allowed for an increased budget of 2.5 per cent, and faster growth than in other sectors. In addition, the report calls for collaboration and amalgamations in many areas, and in child and youth mental health services specifically.

In addition, there are 19 recommendations to social programs including social assistance. However, recommendations for program improvements such as increased assets and extended health benefits to all low-income workers are contingent on savings to other public sector areas.

Recommendations that will impact on the education, training, and income realities for low income persons with mental health issues are included in a discussion of social assistance recipients. Many changes that are suggested by the Commission will be followed by more comprehensive recommendations from the Social Assistance Review due out in July 2012.

See, “Public Services for Ontarians: A Path to Sustainability and Excellence” available at www.fin.gov.on.ca.

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