Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
"Hospitals have been at the centre of the pandemic from day one providing excellent care for our sick and vulnerable, and responding to the various outbreaks without hesitation," said Premier Ford. "Clearly, this additional care comes at a cost, so as a government we must step up and support them. We need to ensure that our hospitals remain viable and are there for people long after COVID-19 has been beaten."
To ensure Ontario's hospitals remain on stable financial footing at a critical time, $696.6 million in funding will be allocated to help cover historic working funds deficits for qualifying public hospitals, with a focus on small, medium as well as specialty and rehabilitation hospitals that carry a large fiscal strain due to their unique situations and historical funding challenges.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all hospitals have felt financial challenges not only through direct costs, but also through the loss of other forms of revenue such as co-payments for private rooms and the reduction of retail services, all of which contribute to patient care and support clinical services. In order to help address these fiscal challenges the province is setting aside $572.3 million to reimburse qualifying portions of these losses.
"Ontario's hospitals have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is using every tool at our disposal to support them during these unprecedented times," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This funding will ensure Ontario's hospitals can continue to provide high-quality care to all Ontarians as we work together to stop the spread of this virus."
The pandemic has put pressure on the health care sector and amplified pre-existing problems. Ontario currently spends more on Ontario's public hospitals than it receives in federal funding. The Ontario government will continue to work in collaboration with the federal government, and with other provinces and territories to ensure the Canada Health Transfer is increased and Ontarians get the quality health care they deserve.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario's government has been working with its hospital partners to create unprecedented capacity and be ready to respond to any scenario. The government remains committed to supporting hospitals so that they can continue to care for Ontarians today and in the future.
"Our priority since the start of the pandemic has been clear - protecting people's health. That means ensuring hospitals and the health care system have the capacity they need to care for people," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. "Supporting hospitals is part of our plan to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe, during COVID-19 and beyond."
Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. On March 24th the government will release the 2021 Ontario Budget. It will focus on protecting people's health, with a plan to defeat COVID-19, and support people and jobs.
- The government is investing $18 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects across Ontario that will lead to $27 billion in capital investments.
- Hospital capacity continues to be a priority and the government recently announced an additional $125 million to fund over 500 critical care and high intensity medicine beds to hospitals in areas with high rates of transmission. This is in addition to the more than 3,100 beds previously funded by the province to increase capacity in the hospital sector and reduce occupancy pressures caused by COVID-19.
- As part of the province’s $2.8 billion fall preparedness plan, the government has invested $283.7 million to assist the health system’s ongoing efforts to reduce surgery backlogs, and $457.5 million to ensure that the health system is prepared to respond to any waves or surges of COVID-19 without interrupting routine health services.
- Ontario Health Teams are helping to maintain hospital capacity by coordinating programs that link hospitals, primary care, home and community care services, long-term care homes, congregate settings and other services, as well as supporting virtual care, online appointment booking and patients' digital access to their health information.
"The Ontario Hospital Association greatly appreciates the financial supports made available by the Government of Ontario as hospitals fight the ongoing war against the pandemic and attempt to maintain access to non COVID related health services. Ontario hospitals of all sizes and types have stepped up over the past year to support testing efforts, open assessment and vaccination centres and provide reinforcements to their community partners. This has come at a huge financial cost to hospitals, while they’ve also lost a significant amount of revenue by freeing up beds, operating at standby capacity and postponing a huge number of surgeries and procedures. Thank you to the Government of Ontario for supporting hospitals and for ongoing efforts to address our sector’s financial pressures during this crisis."
- Anthony Dale
President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association
- Ontario Adding Over 500 Hospital Beds to Expand Critical Care Capacity
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- Hallway Health Care: A System Under Strain
- Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 information website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from the virus.
- For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only).