Ontario, one of Canada's larger provinces, faced a severe fiscal challenge in the mid 1990s. For health services, it meant that hospitals would need to close if the budget was to be balanced. Ontario's government took an unusual approach to resolving this challenge by delegating responsibility to an arm's length commission to restructure hospitals.
Former Chief Executive of the Health Services Restructuring Commission, Mark Rochon (now CEO of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute), described Ontario's experience to the participants of the masterclass, Managing a health system through an economic downturn - a partnership event between the Nuffield Trust and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, held in May 2011. In this video he explains to Nuffield Trust's Ruth Thorlby what sort of challenge faced the province in the mid 1990s and how the restructuring commission worked.