Increased investments in hospitals and community care are improving access to health care
Publicly funded health care is a core value for Ontario Liberals. We believe that every Ontarian deserves the best care possible, when and where they need it, regardless of their ability to pay.
Our health system is a community of care providers, maintaining high-quality care for patients, clients, and residents across an integrated system, with access to team care that is available to everyone, whenever they need it.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Since then, the Ontario Liberal government’s investments in health care have reduced wait times for priority procedures and access to specialists. New investments in wait times mean that patients can be assessed faster at regional assessment centres, have access to interprofessional teams to support their rehabilitation and be discharged from hospital sooner because of increased investment in home care services.
We have created more than 300 new primary care teams across the province and have created 27 new nurse practitioner-led clinics since 2010 to connect Ontarians with a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
We have doubled services in home and community care. We have made prescription drugs free for children and youth and are building a continuum of care for seniors and their caregivers that provides new models of care and that meets their changing needs so they can stay at home longer.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more to shorten wait times and improve access to health care services. Patient needs are changing. Ontario’s health care system is now caring for more frail and elderly seniors and patients with complex health conditions than ever before. We can provide more support for people living with chronic disease and for health promotion programs.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals will continue to work with health care providers and make new investments to make sure you and your family receive high-quality, evidence-based care at the right time, close to home. Our plan will:
- Increase hospital funding by $822 million in 2018-19, providing better access to care, shortening wait times and addressing hospital capacity issues
- Support 40 major hospital building projects, including major redevelopment of SickKids in Toronto, the Ottawa Hospital, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, Lakeridge Health, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Trillium Health Partners
- Make prescription drugs free for children, youth and seniors, making life more affordable for 4 million Ontarians
- Make prescription drugs and dental care more affordable for all people and families without benefits
- Make a historic $2.1 billion additional investment in mental health and addiction care over the next four years to reduce wait times and connect people to care in their communities faster
- Invest an additional $650 million in home care over the next three years, which will provide 2.8 million more hours of personal support, 284,000 more nursing visits and 58,000 more therapy visits
- Create 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next 10 years and provide more daily hours of direct care to residents in long-term care
- Provide more community care by investing in more community supports for mental health and addictions, rehab and dementia care, palliative and end-of-life care, and expanded home care services for complex patients
- Create a Diabetes Centre of Excellence to support those living with the disease
- Continue to build on the success of Ontario’s Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and expand access to publicly funded smoking cessation programs
- Make it easier for people and families to access the care they need from their local pharmacist, such as vaccinations and managing chronic diseases
- Reduce health disparities among racialized and marginalized communities by collecting appropriate data and developing, with community partners, health equity indicators and local plans to ensure more culturally appropriate care is available across the province
- Continue to invest in telemedicine and new models of care, including virtual care to reduce wait times and make accessing health care easier
- Create a capacity planning table to develop multi-year funding plans for hospitals and ensure Ontario has the necessary data and models of care available to meet the health care needs of our growing population
- Develop a health workforce planning strategy and ensure health care providers have a seat at the table
- Maintain current nursing staffing levels and continue to hire more nurses across the health system to support direct patient care; in 2018 this will mean adding 3,500 more nurses to the health system across the continuum of care, including 2,500 in hospital settings, prioritizing Registered Nurses
- Work with nursing and health system partners to ensure nursing vacancies are filled quickly and full-time work is prioritized
- Continue to make health care settings safe for patients and health care providers by continuing to implement the recommendations of the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table