Yesterday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced there will be an additional $822 million investment in Ontario hospitals in 2018-19. Locally, this means an investment of more than $7.9 million for Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Care Group.
The Premier was joined by Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance to explain how this major increase in hospital funding will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Ontario’s growing and aging population.
Across the province the overall increase of 4.6 per cent is on top of the 3.2 per cent provided last year – allowing hospitals to invest with more precision in the care and supports that address the specific needs of their patients and community.
Patients and families in the Thunder Bay area will also directly benefit from this increased funding with the expansion of essential services to reduce wait times and priority procedures such as cardiac care, critical care, chemotherapy, treatment for strokes, hip and knee replacements, and medical imaging.
Increasing funding to hospitals and access to high-quality health care across the province is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“This announcement of over $7.9 million being invested in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Care Group means that our residents in Northwestern Ontario will continue to receive high quality services within their own community. Our government is committed to expanding services for essential fields like mental health and cardiac services, while reducing wait times and addressing capacity issues.”
– MPP Michael Gravelle, Thunder Bay-Superior North
“This announcement demonstrates our Government’s commitment to ensuring our hospitals continue to deliver high quality health care to people living in our communities. The new funding of $7.9 million will allow our hospitals to continue to reduce wait times, address capacity issues and meet the specific needs of people living in our region. This funding will also allow us to continue to expand on services that need additional support like Mental Health, or are not currently provided in our region, like Cardiac Surgery.
– MPP Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay – Atikokan
“Whether you rely on our health care system once a day, once a year or once in a while, everyone in Ontario deserves high-quality care when they need it – and our skilled, dedicated health care professionals deserve the right resources to deliver it. That’s why our government is investing more to help hospitals deliver better care for patients. It will relieve stress and anxiety for patients, their families and caregivers and increase patient access to crucial services and procedures – from cardiac services to mental health care. It’s all part of our commitment to help people lead healthy and happy lives – because a healthier Ontario is a stronger Ontario.”
– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“We are committed to make sure hospitals have the resources and supports they need to meet the needs of growing and aging communities. With this historic investment, publicly funded hospitals can increase capacity, decrease wait times and improve access to care for families across Ontario.”
– Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Thunder Bay Regional health Sciences Centre will receive more than $5.7 million and St. Joseph’s Care Group will receive more than $2.8 million in additional funding in 2018-19.
In February 2018, Ontario renewed its support to address increased need for hospital beds with a $187 million investment in 2018-19 that further supports access to care and reduced wait times.
Hospital operating funding in Ontario has increased by more than 65 per cent, from $11.3 billion in 2003-04 to almost $19 billion in 2018-19.
The province invested an additional $100 million in 2017-18 in home care supports and services.
Ontario is creating 5,000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade.
Ontario is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history – an increase of $2.1 billion over four years.
Starting in August 2019, Ontario plans to make prescription drugs free for seniors through OHIP+ for seniors 65 and over, building on the province’s biggest expansion of medicare in a generation that has already made prescription medications free for everyone under the age of 25.
Speech from the Throne
Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care
OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare
Media Inquires to the Ministry
Telephone: (807) 327-1421
Source: St. Joseph’s Care Group Release
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.