MUSKOKA - Ontario is taking further action to end hallway health care by making increased investments in the province's hospitals.
On Oct. 17 Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health announced an additional investment of $68 million to support small- and medium-sized hospitals across Ontario.
This new investment is on top of the $384 million that Ontario's hospitals received this year as part of the province's 2019 budget.
"Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end
hallway health care," said Elliott. "Working with our hospital partners, we are fixing long-standing issues with how hospitals are funded that disadvantaged small- and medium-sized hospitals. We have listened to patients, frontline staff and key stakeholders to determine how we can fix historical inequities to provide financial stability and relief to hospitals, regardless of their size."
In an Oct. 17 tweet Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith tagged Elliott and said this was an important announcement which will positively impact Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare hospitals.
“Municipalities in Muskoka have been advocating for years for acknowledgement that the funding formula doesn't work for all. Thanks @celliottability for not only listening, but taking action,” he tweeted.
Elliott retweeted Smith’s comment and responded by stating that “everyone in Ontario deserves access to quality care, no matter where they live. It was my pleasure to announce $68M more this year for small- and medium-sized hospitals to help fix long-standing funding inequities.”
The provincial funding announcement comes on the heels of the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare board endorsement of two new hospitals on Oct. 10 to be built in Bracebridge and Huntsville.
This funding includes a province-wide increase in funding of one per cent for 66 small-sized hospitals, 1.5 per cent for 23 medium-sized hospitals and targeted funding to assist with unique situations and historical funding challenges.
"Over many years, the province's hospital funding methodology has significantly disadvantaged medium-sized hospitals and this has affected their stability in recent times," said Anthony Dale, President and CEO of Ontario Hospital Association.
"Today's announcement demonstrates significant progress toward addressing this inequity. On behalf of these communities throughout Ontario, we thank Minister Elliott. We look forward to continuing to work with government to improve the funding methodology for all hospitals."
This investment will:
Help ensure that Ontarians continue to have access to high-quality care; Help put an end to hallway health care; Address sector challenges and previous funding model inequities; Promote the sustainability of hospital operations; and Protect existing core services in communities across the province.
"The ministry is committed to supporting an efficient and stable hospital system," said Martin. "This investment is another example of how Ontario is supporting high-quality and timely access to health care, while delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care."
Ontario will invest $27 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects across Ontario, including adding 3,000 new hospital beds.