Province Building More Capacity to Reduce Wait Times and End Hallway Health Care
October 15, 2020 Health
HAMILTON — The Ontario government is expanding innovative and proven reactivation care models across the province by adding over 200 more transitional care beds. These new beds will help ease pressures on hospitals, reduce wait times for patients by getting those who no longer need to be in a hospital, but are waiting to transition to home, community or long-term care, the right level of care in the right setting, and help end hallway health care.
Details were provided today by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough—Glanbrook.
"Building more capacity is essential to ensure our health care system is prepared for a surge in demand and supports our ongoing efforts to end hallway health care in Ontario," said Elliott. "These new transitional care beds will support patients and their families in the Hamilton, Toronto, Newmarket, Kingston and Sudbury regions as they transition out of acute care into the next stage of their recovery. These are important projects that will also support hospitals by creating the additional capacity that they need."
Ontario will be developing five new reactivation care centres where patients, including those living with dementia or in need of personal support, will benefit from services such as physiotherapy, nursing and support for daily living, with a focus on restorative care to help improve their health outcomes. These new centres include:
- Hamilton: St. Joseph's Villa is collaborating with St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences to renovate the eastern tower of the long-term care home to provide up to 60 new transitional care beds;
- Kingston:Providence Care is renovating the former St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital to provide up to 64 new transitional care beds;
- Newmarket: Southlake Regional Health Centre is collaborating with Southlake Residential Care Village to convert and renovate administrative space on the 5th floor of the long-term care home to provide up to 30 new transitional care beds;
- Sudbury: Health Sciences North is renovating the Ramsey Lake Health Centre to provide up to 52 new transitional care beds; and
- Toronto: Unity Health Toronto will be renovating the Glendale wing of St. Joseph's Hospital to provide up to 28 new transitional care beds.
The majority of these new beds are expected to be completed in 2021-22 and are in addition to previously announced plans to provide up to 128 transitional care beds at the Branson Site Reactivation Care Centre in Toronto which is beginning construction this month and is set to open early next year.
"Sixty additional transitional care beds will alleviate pressure on the acute care bed capacity at both St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences," said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. "Patients no longer needing acute care will be able to transfer to home or long-term care settings faster."
"This new reactivation centre will create more care spaces in Hamilton so patients can heal and return home sooner, which will contribute to ending hallway health care," said Dr. Thomas Stewart, CEO and President, St. Joseph's Health System and CEO, Niagara Health. "It builds on St. Joseph's Health System's commitment to high-quality, integrated care by working across partners and health sectors to transform how we deliver care. In these uncertain times, this is yet another example of how health care providers are coming together to transform care delivery and provide new models of care for the patients and communities we serve."
The additional capacity created as a result of these five new projects will not only provide patients with state-of-the-art reactivation care but will also help to create the capacity hospitals need to resume elective surgeries and prepare for future waves of COVID-19 without interrupting the delivery of routine health care services, a key objective highlighted in Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19.
- On September 30, 2020, the Ontario government released Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, the province’s comprehensive plan to prepare the health care system and support frontline care providers’ readiness for a second wave of COVID-19.
- These five projects are a part of Ontario’s investment of $27 billion over 10 years to build new and expanded hospital infrastructure.
- Ontario is investing $175 million in repairs and upgrades to 129 hospitals this year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.