Province securing more than 1,100 hospital beds and creating 6,000 new long-term care beds to ease hospital gridlock in communities that need it most.
[Prince Edward County] – Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to end hallway health care by taking urgent action to expand access to long-term care, reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.
Quinte Health Care has been approved for one-time funding for 2018/19 of 2.8 million – which supports approximately 23 beds. QHC continues to remain at or above capacity at all four hospitals on a regular basis – and are planning for the flu season ahead which generally means an increase of approximately 30%.
“One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many,” said Todd Smith, MPP Bay of Quinte. “This move will reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.”
On October 3rd, Premier Ford and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott announced as an immediate measure, Ontario is moving forward with a new investment of 90 million to support 1,100 beds and spaces across the province that will help alleviate the strain on the health care system during the flu season.
“We are extremely grateful for this gesture of support. It sends a clear message to our care providers, to our patients, and to our communities that this government recognizes the significant pressures facing hospitals across Ontario, including the four QHC hospitals. This funding investment will allow us the financial resources needed to care for a higher number of patients as we face the pending flu season.” - Mary Clare Egberts, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care.
Premier Doug Ford and Minister Elliott also announced that Ontario is moving forward with building 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario, 128 of which have been approved for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte in Deseronto. This represents the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds that the government has committed to build over the next 5 years.
“We have taken early action on our Long-Term Care commitment – an exciting announcement less than 100 days into our mandate,” said Ford. “We told the people of Ontario we’d make our hospitals run better and more efficiently, and we’d get them the care they deserve. Today, we’re keeping that promise.”
Taken together, these actions will ease pressure on hospitals, help doctors and nurses work more efficiently, and provide better, faster health care for patients and their families.
“Hallway health care is a multi-faceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our health care system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway health care.”
Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is planning to provide those who are struggling with opioid and other drug addictions the first steps towards treatment through new wraparound health and social services beginning in January 2019.
“Ontario’s Government for the People is moving forward with a new, enhanced pragmatic approach to overdose prevention and treatment services,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Services provided under the new Consumption and Treatment Services model would be focused uncompromisingly on connecting people to treatment, and providing more and better support to those struggling with addiction.”
Organizations would need to apply to provide treatment and rehabilitation services, and would also need to offer connections to health and social services, including primary care, mental health supports, housing, and employment. Before and after each site is selected, consultations would be held to ensure the voices of communities are heard. Sites would also need to have a plan in place to ensure community concerns are addressed on an ongoing basis.
Consumption and Treatment Services would replace the former Supervised Consumption Services and Overdose Prevention Site models. Existing sites could apply to continue operating under the planned new model.
Under the new model, each site would implement an ongoing monitoring and reporting plan, as well as adhere to a comprehensive enforcement and audit protocol. This would help review performance, provide measurable outcomes and ensure compliance.
The new model would continue to feature life-saving overdose prevention and harm reduction services, as well as a new focus on connecting people with treatment and rehabilitation services.
It is anticipated that approved sites could begin to transition to the new model beginning in January 2019, with all approved sites expected to be in place by April 2019.
Ontario is planning to expand access to addiction treatment by creating more detox beds in high need communities.
Rossmore, ON - Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith, rolled out the welcome mat for cabinet colleague, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.
The Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services hosted Minister MacLeod in the riding to discuss poverty, women's issues, challenges for military families, labour shortages and more during a whirlwind visit that wrapped up with a quick flight with a Hercules C130J crew at CFB Trenton.
The Ministers met with frontline staff at Three Oaks Women's Shelter in Belleville's west end to hear firsthand how the current funding model is creating challenges for women experiencing violence in the community and how an increase in human trafficking victims has added strain on services.
This meeting was followed by a poverty roundtable, which was attending by various community groups, which including Three Oaks, Canadian Mental Health Association, Voices of Hope, Hastings County Social Services, Community Living PEC, North Hastings Community Trust, and many others who were able to speak directly with Minister MacLeod
"I am extremely pleased that Minister MacLeod was able to meet with the Poverty Roundtable," said Smith. "These are the people that understand exactly where the current system is failing those most vulnerable in our community."
Minister MacLeod has promised to introduce a new delivery model for social services in Ontario by or before November 8th.
The two Ministers also met with Caroline Granger from The Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Prince Edward County to discuss barriers faced in hiring staff through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
The Bay of Quinte tour concluded with a stop at 8 Wing CFB Trenton and a meeting with staff at the Military Family Resource Centre where Minister MacLeod committed to forming a Military Caucus at Queen's Park to find a solution for those military family members being left behind.
"Too many family members are falling through the cracks and waiting too long to receive services after being transferred from outside Ontario," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to ensuring that children who need mental health counselling and other medical specialists appointments aren't falling to the bottom of the waiting list because their Mom or Dad gets transferred to CFB Trenton, Borden, Petawawa and other locations in Ontario."