Today (October 27), Premier Doug Ford made an announcement in Brampton to discuss additional ways to cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The provincial government announced that it is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and other health facilities across Ontario, which will help improve access to care amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is in addition to the $2.8 billion that Ontario is providing in the government’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan.
Today’s announcement was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO of William Osler Health System.
“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 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 over 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and other health facilities across Ontario.
These beds will add more capacity for hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots such as Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York region and will help with occupancy pressures while supporting the continuation of surgeries and procedures.
William Osler Health System will be receiving up to 87 total patient beds to help with hospital capacity pressures and to reduce wait times, which includes 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.
“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families across 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.”
“We greatly appreciate the government’s investment in our hospitals as we work diligently to ensure the patients and communities we serve have access to the care they need,” said Dr. Naveed Mohammad.
“As Osler continues to respond to COVID-19 and anticipates higher demands for inpatient care over the coming months, this critical investment in hospital capacity will further strengthen our ability to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care services 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 and expanding digital health and virtual services.
It will also improve access to mental health and addictions services and supports and increase 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 both its health partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and this plan will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients along with treating patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests.
“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.”