The Government of Ontario has announced a $116.5 million investment to create 766 more hospital beds across the province.
The beds, which will go to 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities, will help reduce the surgical backlogs the province has been dealing with as a result of COVID-19, and improve access to care during the second wave of the pandemic.
In the GTA, William Osler Health System will get up to 87 beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times, according to the province, and “this includes 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.”
The funding announced is in addition to the $2.8 billion the province is providing through the government’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan. Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19 includes a separate $234.5 million investment, which will create 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds.
The investment was announced by Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Our government made a commitment to end hallway healthcare, cut hospital wait times, and build a better, more connected healthcare system that puts patients and their families first,” said 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.”
These beds will add more capacity for hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel and York regions, the government says.
Ontario’s fall preparedness plan will further address surging COVID-19 cases and healthcare backlogs by extending hours for additional priority surgeries, expanding digital health and virtual services, improving access to mental health and addictions services, and increasing home and community care services.
“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 Elliott.
“This additional investment will ensure our healthcare 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.”