News release from Scarborough Health Network - November 20, 2020.
The Ontario government is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province. This investment will help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Scarborough, Scarborough Health Network will be receiving $11,835,800 for up to 45 hospital beds and 8 additional critical care beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times. This includes 20 beds at the SHN Birchmount Hospital and 25 beds at the SHN Centenary Hospital.
“With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, particularly in Scarborough, the Ontario government is taking swift action to ensure that we continue to protect our loved ones receiving care. This investment will increase capacity in our Scarborough hospitals,” said Vijay Thanigasalam, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough – Rouge Park. “I will continue to work with SHN to ensure the residents of Scarborough receive the quality care they deserve and need.”
“Scarborough Health Network is a cornerstone of our community. This investment will help protect our most vulnerable and extend the critical infrastructure necessary to help keep our community safe.” – The Honourable Raymond Cho, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough North and Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
“Ontario continues to work with Ontario Health to keep Ontarians safe and improve the health system in response to COVID-19. This necessary investments will support the well-being of people in Scarborough-Agincourt and across the province, and ensure hospitals continue to provide proper care for patients who have been waiting for surgeries,” remarked Aris Babikian, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough – Agincourt.
“Building capacity is so incredibly important to ensure that the healthcare needs of all Ontarians are met in a timely and appropriate manner. This announcement shows a commitment to making sure that the people of Scarborough will get the care they need, when they need it,” said Christina Mitas, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough – Centre.
The new beds announced today are in addition to the $234.5 million investment for 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19. This brings the total investment to $351 million for more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province – beds that will add more capacity for hospitals, help with occupancy pressures and support the continuation of surgeries and procedures.
“Our government is making the necessary investments too quickly and effectively to increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families in Scarborough,” said Minister 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 .”
The government is providing $2.8 billion for the COVID-19 fall preparedness plan . It focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by:
- Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging;
- Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity;
- Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care;
- Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports; and
- Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
The province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19. This plan will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients and treat patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests. The province will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face.
“Scarborough Health Network welcomes this news of further support from our government partners,” said Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO of Scarborough Health Network. “Investments in essential resources like additional beds allow us to stay ahead of the need, manage this pandemic effectively and continue to deliver the exceptional care that Scarborough deserves.”
Building on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the province’s $30 billion response to the pandemic, the government remains committed to providing necessary resources to protect people’s health and support people, families, workers and business owners. Ontario will release its 2020 Budget and the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan on November 5, 2020.
With a recent increase in cases of COVID-19, it remains vital for the government to continue to protect vulnerable populations and for each Ontarian to follow public health advice.
Ontario previously invested $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more capacity in the health care system to effectively manage surges and outbreaks in COVID-19 cases.
■ The Ontario government also released A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining their ability to respond to COVID-19 and the flu season.
■ For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smartphone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.