(ONTARIO) – Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to end hallway health care by taking urgent action to expand access to long-term care, reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.
Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced that Ontario is moving forward with building 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario.
These 6,000 new long-term care beds represent the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds that the government has committed to build over the next 5 years.
As an immediate measure, Ford and Elliott also announced that Ontario will create over 640 new beds and spaces and continue funding beds and spaces already operating in the hospital and community sectors across Ontario to help communities prepare for the surge that accompanies the upcoming flu season.
Taken together, these actions will ease pressure on hospitals, help doctors and nurses work more efficiently, and provide better, faster health care for patients and their families.
“One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many. It’s unacceptable that people are still waiting hours before seeing a doctor, or are forced to lie on stretchers in hospital hallways when they do finally get care,” said Ford. “Patients are frustrated, families are frustrated, and doctors and nurses are frustrated. We told the people of Ontario we’d make our hospitals run better and more efficiently, and we’d get them the care they deserve. Today, we’re keeping that promise.”
“Hallway health care is a multi-faceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our health care system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway health care.”
Ford and Elliott made their announcement at the inaugural meeting of the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine. Under the leadership of Dr. Rueben Devlin, the Council will recommend strategic priorities and actions to improve Ontario’s health outcomes and improve patient satisfaction, while making Ontario’s health care system more efficient.
“To address the problem of overcrowded hospitals, we must have a long-term vision, planning and stable funding,” said Dr. Devlin. “I look forward to working with Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and this exceptional group of leaders to bring more integration, innovation, and better use of technology to transform our health care system for the people of Ontario.”
The additional $90 million investment to address hallway medicine will create over 640 new beds and spaces and continue funding beds and spaces already operating in the hospital and community sectors, including:
- Sinai Health System – Bridgepoint
- North Bay Regional Health Centre
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Hogarth Riverview Manor
- Pine Villa
- Cooksville Care Centre
- Humber River Hospital – Church Street site
Some facilities will receive additional funding immediately to address current capacity
pressures and the remaining will receive funding in the fall/winter for flu season.
The following individuals will sit on the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine:
- Dr. Rueben Devlin, Special Advisor and Chair
- Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Professor and Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto
- Connie Clerici, CEO, Closing the Gap Healthcare
- Barb Collins, President and CEO, Humber River Hospital
- Michael Decter, President and CEO, LDIC Inc.
- Peter Harris, Barrister and Solicitor
- Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO, The Ottawa Hospital
- Kimberly Moran, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario
- David Murray, Executive Director, Northwest Health Alliance
- Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queens University
- Shirlee Sharkey, President and CEO, Saint Elizabeth Health
Source: Government of Ontario