Quebecers still getting millions of dollars of health care in Ontario

Tens of thousands of patients from Quebec were treated at eastern Ontario hospitals in 2017, costing the Quebec government millions of dollars and becoming an issue in the upcoming provincial election.

Number of Quebec patients being treated at Hawkesbury General Hospital in particular keeps rising

The Hawkesbury General Hospital saw nearly 32,000 patients from Quebec in 2017, up from approximately 25,700 in 2015. (CBC)

Tens of thousands of patients from Quebec were treated at eastern Ontario hospitals in 2017, costing the Quebec government millions of dollars and becoming an issue in the upcoming provincial election.

The Ontario government billed the Quebec government approximately $92.5 million for the care of more than 58,000 people from the Outaouais in Ottawa in 2017, according to the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.

The Ottawa Hospital's campuses accounted for almost a third of that money: $30.7 million.

The most patients, 18,624 of them, went to CHEO.

The other Ottawa hospitals included in the figures provided by the Quebec government are Montfort Hospital, the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Queensway-Carleton Hospital, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Bruyère health care centres.​

Highest numbers in Hawkesbury, Ont.

Midway between Ottawa and Montreal, the Hawkesbury General Hospital trumps all the hospitals in Ottawa for visits by Quebecers, pulling in many patients from west of Montreal.

Nearly 32,000 Quebec patients — not just patients from the Outaouais — were treated there in 2017, costing Quebec's government more than $36.3 million.

That's approximately a 25 per cent increase since 2015.

In 2016, Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said his government was spending too much money on treatment in Hawkesbury, and that they were helping pay for a new Hawkesbury hospital building with Quebec's money.

On Tuesday, he said Quebec has a hospital capacity problem and that the government is funding a new hospital in Vaudreuil, west of Montreal.

François Legault, leader of the opposition Coalition avenir Québec, said the amount of money spent treating Quebecers in Ontario proves the Liberal government's health-care record isn't very good.

With files from Jérémie Bergeron and Florence Ngué-No