Ontario Adding 129 Hospital Beds Across Northern Ontario
Investment will Increase Hospital Capacity, Reduce Surgical Backlogs and Improve Access to Care
KENORA ― 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. This investment will help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Northern Ontario, a number of health science facilities and hospitals will be receiving close to $13million for up to 129 total patient beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times. This includes 28 beds at Kirkland Lake District Hospital, 12 beds at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora, 15 beds at Sensenbrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing, 25 beds in Weeneenbayko Area Health Authority in Moose Factory, 28 beds and 1 additional critical care bed at Health Sciences North in Sudbury and 30 hospital beds in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
“This investment by our government demonstrates our continuing commitment to make a difference in providing patient health care and hospital beds where they are required most urgently across the north”, said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines & Minister of Indigenous Affairs – MPP Kenora-Rainy River.
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. This brings the total investment to $351 million for more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province – beds that will add more capacity for hospitals, help with occupancy pressures and support the continuation of surgeries and procedures.
“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families across Northern Ontario,” said Minister Elliott. “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.”
The government is providing $2.8 billion for the COVID-19 fall preparedness plan. It 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 homeor 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; and
- Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
The province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19. This plan will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients and treat patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests. The province will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face.
Kirkland Lake District Hospital
Lake of the Woods District Hospital
Weeneebayko Area Health Authority
Health Sciences North
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Building on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the province’s $30 billion response to the pandemic, the government remains committed to providing necessary resources to protect people’s health and support people, families, workers and business owners. Ontario will release its 2020 Budget and the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan on November 5, 2020.
With a recent increase in cases of COVID-19, it remains vital for the government to continue to protect vulnerable populations and for each Ontarian to follow public health advice.
- Ontario previously invested $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more capacity in the health care system to effectively manage surges and outbreaks in COVID-19 cases.
- The Ontario government also released A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining their ability to respond to COVID-19 and the flu season.
- For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
Please click here to view the WAHA news release.
Please click here to view the province news release.