Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province – to help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during COVID-19. The funding is in addition to the $2.8 billion the province is providing in the government’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan.
“Our government made a commitment to end hallway health care, cut hospital wait times, and build a better, more connected health care system that puts patients and their families first,” said Premier Ford.
“We are taking another step today to keep that promise by adding hundreds more hospital beds across the province. This will not only ensure we are ready for any surges in COVID-19 cases but provide patients with the care they need and deserve close to home.”
The new beds announced today are in addition to the $234.5 million investment for 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19.
These beds will add capacity for hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots such as Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York region. It will also help those facing occupancy pressures and support the continuation of surgeries and procedures.
William Osler Health System will add up to 87 total patient beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times. This includes 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.
“This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.
Osler – like other hospitals in Ontario – has been preparing for an increase in the number of patients who will require care in its hospitals as a result of the growing number of COVID-19 cases and the cold and flu season.
“Today’s announcement is good news for the communities we serve and comes at a time when Osler’s dedicated health care teams are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, and are preparing to manage the flu season and anticipated winter surge,” said Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System. “This investment further enables Osler and its partners to respond to an increase in demand for services and continue to provide high-quality, compassionate care to our patients.”
Ontario’s fall preparedness plan also focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by:
- Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging
- Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity
- Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care
- Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports
- Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Brampton residents,” said Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton. “Our City Council declared a health care emergency and the 87 new patient beds at the William Osler Health System will help alleviate capacity pressures. I want to thank Premier Ford for responding to our concerns with a positive step in the right direction.”