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Provincial Investments in Health Care

Community Comment

The Ontario government holds health care as a priority. The province has been making significant investments to strengthen the health care system and, most importantly, provide Ontarians with timely care when needed.

The Ministry of Health is investing at historic levels: $63 billion in 2019-20, $73 billion in 2020-21, and $74 billion in 2021-22. The money is being spent on important human resources and staffing initiatives and on new infrastructure.

The Province is increasing the level of care by focusing on the health care personnel required for Ontario’s growing and aging population. Important gaps in care are being addressed:

  • Adding over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses – on top of 8,200 nurses and externs who were added to the health system since 2020.
  • Invested $764 million over the next two years to provide Ontario’s nurses with a retention incentive of up to $5,000 per person.
  • Personal Support Worker (PSW) programs have financially assisted over 14,000 PSW students to complete training in 2021/22.
  • Expanding medical school education in Ontario, adding 160 undergraduate seats and 295 postgraduate positions over the next five years – the largest program expansion in over 15 years.
  • Provided finances for over 18,000 hours of staffing in Ontario hospitals.
  • Investing $57.6 million to recruit and retain up to 225 additional nurse practitioners in for long-term care residences

The government is working with professional bodies to speed up approval of credentials of internationally educated health care workers, including foreign educated nurses. Recruiting and retaining more nurse practitioners will increase the capacity of hospitals, long-term care homes and medical services.

The province is also making significant investments in infrastructure. In Ottawa, it has supported a major expansion of The Ottawa Hospital, providing $29.1 million in a future state-of-the-art Civic Campus. The expansion will create the lead acute care centre with over 300 new beds for acute care and specialty rehabilitation services in the Ottawa region.

I  am also very pleased that the government has committed to the community paramedicine program and a new province-wide 9-1-1 model of care. This was first introduced as a pilot program with the paramedics in Ottawa and Renfrew. The innovative approach gives paramedics more options to provide safe and appropriate treatment for patients.

This summer the government has also announced a new five-point plan to bolster health care services in Ontario. This includes recruiting and retaining more doctors, nurses and personal support workers. The investments in Ontario’s health care are on-going.