Ontario Budget 2000 News Release PROVINCE TO INVEST $22 BILLION IN HEALTH CARE, CHALLENGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE CUTS

News Release
Communiqué

Government of Ontario

Ministry of Finance
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1Y7
Ministère des Finances
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1Y7

For Immediate Release
May 2, 2000

PROVINCE TO INVEST $22 BILLION IN HEALTH CARE,
CHALLENGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE CUTS


TORONTO - Finance Minister Ernie Eves announced today in the 2000 Ontario Budget that the Province will spend $22 billion on health care this year and challenged the federal government to "not only restore their cuts, but that they become full partners in a new, innovative, restructured health care system".

"We are increasing our health care spending dramatically. We encourage the federal government to join with us in reforming the system in Ontario and across the country and to finally become an equal partner in the future of health care," Eves said.

Since 1995, Ontario has increased health care operating spending by $4.4 billion at the same time the federal government reduced its funding to the program that supports health care by $1.7 billion.

Also in the 2000 Ontario Budget, the Province said it will invest $150 million beginning next year to provide for new information systems to support the transition to primary care networks and will further dedicate $100 million over the next four years to expand Ontario's primary care system.

"Primary care reform is pivotal to our vision of the future of health care - an accessible, integrated, dependable system, providing comprehensive care to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," Eves said.

Ontario's vision is to have 80 per cent of eligible family doctors practising in primary care networks over the next four years.

Patient care will be enhanced through $110 million for improved medical supervision in home care settings and improved psychiatric services.

The Province will also invest $54 million annually to reduce waiting times for priority programs such as cancer care, end stage renal disease and cardiac care.

"Sustaining the quality of care that Ontarians deserve requires restructuring and reforming our health care system to keep up with new technology and meet the challenges for a growing and aging population. That takes investment in the right areas," Eves added.

Additional investments in health care include:

  • $1 billion invested in hospitals to accelerate capital restructuring projects, enhanced to $1.5 billion by partners
  • $500 million for research infrastructure
  • $235 million for the hospital sector, primarily for transitional issues as health care restructuring continues
  • $110 million to enhance patient care, and $54 million for priority programs such as cancer care, end stage renal disease and cardiac care
  • $45 million at maturity for Telehealth, a toll-free telephone health advisory service
  • $30 million annually, to develop strategies aimed at integrating and strengthening aspects of stroke prevention
  • $21 million over three years for projects testing blood conservation and bloodless surgery techniques
  • $11 million annually to address physician shortages
  • free tuition for medical students who relocate to underserviced areas
  • $10 million over two years for the Health Integration Program
  • $10 million per year on Patients' Bill of Rights
  • tying hospital funding to service performance and publicly reporting results
  • $ 6 million in annual funding to provide education and training for Level II Neonatal units to hospital staff
  • $3.5 million for bridge training for foreign-trained nurses and other professionals to meet Ontario licensing standards

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For more information visit www.fin.gov.on.ca

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