Ontario is making major investments in the health care system to address capacity issues, reduce wait times and provide better care closer to home.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the annual meeting of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario in Toronto today to discuss how the government is supporting nurses by strengthening the health care system so it can better meet the needs of a growing and aging population.
Premier Wynne shared how Ontario is increasing funding for the hospital sector with an $822 million investment in 2018-19 — a major increase of 4.6 per cent on average. This increase, in addition to the over 3 per cent provided last year, is allowing hospitals to expand essential services, provide faster access to critical care and priority procedures, and invest with precision in the specific needs of their patients and community. Ontario is also providing more than $19 billion over the next 10 years to build and expand hospitals. Together, these investments support nurses and other hospital staff in providing better care.
To create a stronger, more integrated mental health system in Ontario, the government is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with a funding boost of $2.1 billion that brings total mental health care spending to more than $17 billion over four years. This is the biggest mental health investment in Canadian history and will ensure that people are able to access mental health care where and when they need it.
The Premier also highlighted how the province will continue to improve care in long-term care (LTC) homes by:
Supporting Ontario's nurses in providing better and more accessible care 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 free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.