TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $182.6 million this year to support critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 133 hospitals and 63 community health service providers across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects at hospitals. This funding, provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund, will ensure that Ontarians can continue to access the care they need in safe, comfortable environments and that the province’s health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.
“Upgrading and maintaining hospitals and community health infrastructure is one more way our government is ensuring Ontarians receive the exceptional care when they need it and closer to home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These crucial investments will help build the capacity needed to end hallway health care, while ensuring our hospitals have the tools they need to improve the quality of care for patients and continue responding to COVID-19.”
The government is providing $175 million to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and $7.6 million to community health service providers through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund. Funding from the province allows its health care system partners to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators. A total of $50 million from the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund will be used by hospitals for urgent projects, including those that support the health system response to COVID-19, such as upgrading HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, and improving infection prevention and control measures.
“The hospital sector greatly appreciates the investment in hospital infrastructure, announced today,” said Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association. “With the fourth wave of the pandemic underway and longstanding capacity pressures growing on hospitals, this investment will ensure funds are available for much-needed equipment upgrades, building repairs, and to extend the life of all hospital facilities at a time when hospitals are doing everything possible to maintain and enhance access to vital frontline services.”
The government continues to make record investments to support world-class hospitals across the province and ensure the health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario. In March 2021, the government committed up to $696.6 million in funding to help cover historic working funds deficits and strengthen the financial stability of hospitals across the province.
Through the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, the government is providing a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments to hospitals in 2021-22. This includes funding to create more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity, as well as an increase of $778 million in operational funding to ensure all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.