The Ontario government is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province.
This investment will help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during COVID-19. The funding is in addition to the $2.8 billion the province is providing in the government’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan.
“Our government made a commitment to end hallway health care, cut hospital wait times, and build a better, more connected health care system that puts patients and their families first,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We are taking another step today to keep that promise by adding hundreds more hospital beds across the province. This will not only ensure we are ready for any surges in COVID-19 cases, but provide patients with the care they need and deserve close to home.”
The new beds announced today are in addition to the $234.5 million investment for 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19. This brings the total investment to $351 million for more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province. These beds will add more capacity for hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots such as Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York region. It will also help those facing occupancy pressures and support the continuation of surgeries and procedures.
William Osler Health System will be receiving up to 87 total patient beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times. This includes 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.
“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families across Ontario,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. “This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster.”
Ontario’s fall preparedness plan also focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by: Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging; Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity; Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care; Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports; and Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
The province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19. This plan will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients and treat patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests. The province will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face.
Photo: This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster says Health Minister Christine Elliott.