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Ontario invests $3.3B to increase health-care capacity

Province aims to combat and contain COVID-19, build upon long-term goals for the health system
Doug Ford 4
File photo of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The Government of Ontario has announced an additional $3.3 billion in funding to increase health-care capacity and support front line workers, not only improving upon their ability to respond to COVID-19 but general practice moving forward.

“Our government will spare no expense to protect the health and safety of our front line health-care workers,” said Premier Doug Ford in a press release.

“They’re always looking out for us and our government is looking out for them. We’ll do everything within our power to ensure our front line workers have the necessary resources to take down COVID-19 and keep individuals and families safe.”

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 includes $2.1 billion in new and urgent funding to combat and contain the spread of COVID-19, as well as $1.2 billion to continue the government’s long-term plan to improve upon the existing health care system.

This new investment includes:

  • The initial $304 million announced for establishing assessment centres, screening and testing, and protection for front line workers and first responders;
  • An investment of $935-million more in hospitals, including $594 million to expand capacity and $341 million to prepare for COVID-19 with the purchase of 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and establishment assessment centre;
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring and testing, including investments in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario;
  • Supporting long-term care facilities with $243 million in funding to manage a sudden influx of patients, 24/7 screening of staff and visitors, more staffing, as well as additional supplies and equipment;
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front line staff, and;
  • Dedicating $1 billion to a COVID-19 contingency fund.