Cost Cutting into Oblivion
/ Author: Andre van Heerden
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Cost Cutting into Oblivion

In Ontario’s long term healthcare system, cost cutting has cut into people’s well-being and the very purpose of care

By André van Heerden, Communications Director

For anyone who has worked on a low-budget Canadian film, the common joke is that within the first minute of production, you’re already a day behind schedule and 20 percent over budget.

A number of years ago, I was directing a movie and, true to the joke, we were behind on our shooting schedule and way over budget. As we were setting up to shoot our next scene, my producer came to me wondering if I could make things go any faster. I explained that we’d use only one shot for the entire scene to save time.

When he asked if there was anything more that we could do, I said that we could not shoot the scene at all. He was surprised as he thought that the scene was necessary for the story to make sense. I said it was. We went ahead and shot the scene.

At a certain point, no matter how tight your budget might be, cost cutting can go too far. It can defeat the reason that you’re actually doing something in the first place. 

In the case of our movie, the way that we could save the most money would be to not make the movie at all. For home renovations, it would be cheapest to not do them. For grocery shopping, it would be cheapest not to buy anything. For a family night out, it would be cheapest just to stay home.

In some instances, we may have an actual choice about whether it’s best to spend money on something or not. But in the case of food, shelter, or care, we have to spend enough for our own well-being.

Unfortunately, in Ontario’s long term healthcare system, cost cutting has cut into people’s well-being and the very purpose of care.

CLAC is pushing for a number of desperately needed changes to the healthcare system and funding. Our members are overworked, stressed, underappreciated, and underpaid—all while struggling to support those in their care.

To highlight how bad the situation is, a group of over 200 families have joined an unprecedented lawsuit about to be launched against Canada’s three biggest for-profit long term care home chains.

Often, we hear project managers or companies bragging about how their projects have come in on time and under budget. But we need to look further at what it means for a project to “come in” and if it’s truly delivering what it’s supposed to.

On time and on budget are good only when the project has achieved its purpose.



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