Ontario government to spend $1 billion to expand home care services

The provincial government says it will spend $1 billion over the next three years to expand home care in the province.

At a news conference Monday morning, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the plan will help nearly 700,000 families in Ontario who rely on home care each year. The announcement comes ahead of the June provincial election.

The Ontario Hospital Association says that in mid-January there were a record 5,800 alternate level of care patients in hospitals – people who could be cared for in a different setting, such as home care or long-term care.

“This significant investment will allow Ontarians to receive the care they need from the comfort of their homes and will reduce unnecessary pressures on our hospitals by helping to keep our province open,” said Elliott.

She added that the plan will also recruit and train more home care workers.

The funding would also include a new framework that will provide better patient care, reduce wait times and end hallway health care, Elliott said.

The province says the funding is in addition to the $548.5 million investment plan announced in Ontario’s 2021 Fall Economic Statement.

The province spent $4.5 billion on home and community care services in 2021-22.

Home Care Ontario told the government in its pre-budget submission that the sector needs an immediate investment of $460 million to help stabilize it and address wage inequities.