Government investing $27 billion to help end hallway health care

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TORONTO—A provincial government press release notes that hallway health care is a significant problem that continues to strain Ontario’s hospitals and health care system. “Across Ontario, too many patients are left waiting too long for the care they need,” asserts the release. “That’s why the provincial government has announced it is taking a major step forward in its plans to end hallway health care by investing $27 billion over the next 10 years in essential hospital infrastructure projects across the province. These investments will build critical front line care capacity by creating more than 3,000 new hospital beds.”

However, details on specific projects’ investments will not be announced immediately, says a representative of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

David Jensen, media relations co-ordinator communications and marketing division with the MOHLTC, explained to the Recorder in an email this past Monday, “in response to your question about last week’s hospital bed announcement, I can tell you that details of specific investments and the related number of new hospital beds will be communicated as project plans are finalized. Capital planning is a complex process and we are committed to working with partners across the health system to make investments based on government priorities and ensure that they are implemented efficiently.”

“With these long-overdue infrastructure investments, we will ease the crippling pressures plaguing Ontario’s hospitals and empower nurses and doctors to provide better, faster care,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in the release. “These investments make crystal clear our government’s commitment to protect what matters most to Ontarians, including our public health care system.”

To mark the government’s investments, Ms. Elliott was joined by caucus colleagues, hospital staff, frontline care providers and patient and family advisors. “Every part of our plan to end hallway health care and build a modern, sustainable and integrated health care system starts and ends with the patient.”

In addition to investments in creating more beds, the government is making renewal investments to ensure that long-neglected facilities across the province are properly maintained.

The government is taking a comprehensive approach to ending hallway health care, including additional investments in increased hospital operational funding, mental health and addictions services and building long-term care beds, as well as home care funding and community care funding, both of which will let Ontario’s seniors live at home longer.