Investing in Health Care and Education

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Ontario’s health care and education systems give us a competitive edge in the global economy. We’re committed to providing everyone in Ontario with fair and timely access to health care and giving all students and young people every opportunity to achieve their goals.

Strengthening Health Care

OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare starts covering the cost of prescription medications for everyone under 25 on January 1, 2018.

Supporting Seniors and Caregivers

Creating more than 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next decade.

Investing in Education, Skills and Training

Free tuition for more than 210,000 college and university students through the Ontario Student Assistance Program and new apprenticeship incentives.

Strengthening health care

Ontario is:

  • Investing an additional $7 billion over three years to enhance primary care, increase access to specialists, ensure patients receive care closer to home, reduce wait times and provide more operating funding for hospitals.
  • Launching OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare. The most significant expansion of medicare in Ontario in a generation, this program will cover the cost of prescription medications for everyone under 25, regardless of family income, starting January 1, 2018.
  • Providing more front-line workers and expanding harm-reduction programs, access to free opioid-antidote naloxone kits and treatments for substance use disorders as part of its opioid strategy.
  • Investing $618 million more this year in hospitals to provide faster access to procedures, new programs and digital technology.
  • Improving access to care and reducing wait times by adding more than 1,200 new hospital beds in 2017.
  • Expanding the Northern Health Travel Grant by an additional $10 million to help northern residents get medical services.

Supporting seniors and caregivers

Ontario is:

  • Supporting seniors through the Aging with Confidence action plan so they can live independent, healthy, active, safe and socially connected lives.
  • Creating 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2022 — and more than 30,000 beds over the next decade. These new beds are in addition to the 30,000 existing beds that are being redeveloped.
  • Increasing the provincial average to four hours of direct care per resident per day to ensure that residents in long-term care homes receive the highest quality of care.
  • Partnering with local communities to build more hospice beds to provide compassionate palliative and end-of-life care for more than 2,000 additional people and their families each year, closer to home.
  • Expanding home care through an additional 2.6 million hours this year — including 1.5 million hours for personal support services, 390,000 hours for nursing care, 600,000 hours for caregiver respite services and 110,000 hours for therapy.
  • Providing more than 200 affordable housing units for seniors who need more community supports when they are discharged from the hospital.
  • Investing an additional $10 million in Behavioural Supports Ontario to better meet the needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Giving family and friends caring for a loved one at home improved access to respite services, as well as more education and training to cope with the physical, emotional and financial demands they face.
  • Making public transit more affordable for seniors by introducing the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit, which gives eligible seniors a refundable tax credit equal to 15 per cent of their expenses for public transit.

Investing in education, skills and training

Ontario is:

  • Providing free tuition to more than 210,000 college and university students through the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), rolled out earlier this fall.
  • Improving student assistance by ensuring that college and university students receive a reduced upfront bill, with OSAP already factored in.
  • Increasing the number of postsecondary students graduating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines by 25 per cent over the next five years — boosting the number of STEM graduates from 40,000 to 50,000 per year and positioning Ontario as the number one producer of postsecondary STEM graduates per capita in North America.
  • Working with Indigenous partners to create a third pillar of the postsecondary education system so that students at Indigenous Institutes can receive diplomas and degrees.
  • Implementing a Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers to provide incentives to encourage apprentices to complete training.
  • Investing almost $16 billion in capital grants over 10 years for schools — including more than 50 new and improved schools built this year — to support high-quality programs that strengthen student achievement and well-being.
  • Enhancing rural schools with expanded French immersion, arts education and guidance counselling.
  • Proposing to create the first French-language university in Ontario so that postsecondary students get more opportunities to study in French.
  • Investing in the Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative, a partnership with eCampusOntario, giving free and low-cost digital textbooks to students.