April 20, 2018 9:30 A.M.
Ontario is making major investments in the health care system to address capacity issues, reduce wait times and provide better care closer to home.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the annual meeting of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario in Toronto today to discuss how the government is supporting nurses by strengthening the health care system so it can better meet the needs of a growing and aging population.
Premier Wynne shared how Ontario is increasing funding for the hospital sector with an $822 million investment in 2018-19 — a major increase of 4.6 per cent on average. This increase, in addition to the over 3 per cent provided last year, is allowing hospitals to expand essential services, provide faster access to critical care and priority procedures, and invest with precision in the specific needs of their patients and community. Ontario is also providing more than $19 billion over the next 10 years to build and expand hospitals. Together, these investments support nurses and other hospital staff in providing better care.
To create a stronger, more integrated mental health system in Ontario, the government is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with a funding boost of $2.1 billion that brings total mental health care spending to more than $17 billion over four years. This is the biggest mental health investment in Canadian history and will ensure that people are able to access mental health care where and when they need it.
The Premier also highlighted how the province will continue to improve care in long-term care (LTC) homes by:
Supporting Ontario's nurses in providing better and more accessible care is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
“As Premier, it’s my job to make sure Ontario’s highly trained and dedicated health care professionals have the resources they need to provide the best care to families across the province. That is why the number of nurses employed in Ontario has increased every year since I became Premier. Nurses are essential to every aspect of patient care. As the health care system continues to evolve to keep up with the changes in our growing and aging communities, our investments will ensure that people can continue to rely on excellent care — no matter who they are or where they live in Ontario.”
“As our population grows and changes, the role of nurses will only become more important. The investments we make today to support our health care workers will improve our system now and lead to better health for all Ontarians.”
“Adding an additional registered nurse (RN) in every nursing home in the province is an essential step toward improving the quality of care residents receive and brings us closer to our call for a long-term care (LTC) staffing mix of at least one attending NP for every 120 residents, a minimum of 20 per cent RNs, 25 per cent RPNs, and no more than 55 per cent personal supports workers (PSW).”
Dr. Doris Grinspun
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