Ontario is improving access to care in Sault Ste. Marie, helping to reduce wait times and support increased access to services that patients and families rely on, David Orazietti MPP announced today.
“Our government is committed to improving Ontario’s healthcare system across the North, including right here in our community,” said David Orazietti, MPP. “By increasing the Sault Area Hospital’s base funding this year, we are able to continue to increase access to care and reduce wait times for patients.”
The provincial government is providing Sault Area Hospital with a total investment of $2,450,200 this year to improve access to care and reduce the length of hospital stays for patients and families in Sault Ste. Marie, as follows:
- $534,800 in provincial funding recently announced in the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
- $1,915,400 in provincial funding announced as part of the 2016 budget.
These new investments from the province ensure that all public hospitals in Ontario have received, at a minimum, a two percent increase to their base funding this year. Additional funding has been provided to hospitals to support population growth and changing health care needs in their communities.
“As a LHIN we work closely with the Sault Area Hospital to ensure quality acute care services are available for Northerners when they need them. We know how hard their staff and leadership work to provide patient-centred care while keeping in mind their financial sustainability. This special base funding will support the continued provision of quality health care and help the hospital meet the health care needs of the people they serve.” commented Louise Paquette, CEO, North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
“We were very pleased to receive this additional funding. It will be helpful to our efforts to reduce wait times for admitted patients and to offset some of the added costs associated with higher than expected Alternate Level of Care patient numbers.”, stated Ron Gagnon, President & CEO, Sault Area Hospital.
Improving access to hospital services is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
Ontario is investing an additional $140 million in public hospitals across the province to ensure that they continue to meet the growing needs of their local communities. This new funding builds on an increase of more than $345 million for Ontario’s hospitals as part of the 2016 Budget.
Since 2013, Sault Area Hospital has also received $4.8 million to support planning and continuation of successful Emergency Department Initiatives, such as hiring nurse practitioners to treat patients with less complex conditions.
According to a recent report from the Fraser Institute, Ontario has the shortest median wait times to see a specialist in the country. The province has committed to further reducing specialist wait times in The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care’s most recent mandate letter.
There are 147 public hospitals in Ontario. This year’s $51.8 billion health care budget is a 2.1 per cent increase over last year – greater than the rate of inflation.