October 23, 2017  

MHLTC News Release HeaderOntario Making 2,000 More Beds and Spaces for Patients Available This Year

Province Boosting Access to Care and Reducing Wait Times 

Ontario is making over 2,000 additional beds and spaces available this year to improve access to care for patients and families, and reduce wait times in hospitals, at home and in the community.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Sinai Health System today to announce the investment, which includes making more than 1,200 additional hospital beds available across Ontario. This funding comes as hospitals are preparing for an annual increase in demand due to the approaching flu season.

The province will also help patients continue to get the care they need as they transition from hospital to home by:

  • Providing 207 affordable housing units for seniors who need additional community supports when they are discharged from hospital
  • Creating 503 transitional care spaces outside of hospital for up to 1,700 patients who don’t require care in a hospital
  • Reopening 150 beds at Humber River Hospital’s former Finch site and 75 beds at University Health Network’s former Hillcrest site to provide care for those transitioning out of hospital.

With the flu season approaching, the province is also encouraging people in Ontario to get the free flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against the most common flu viruses expected this season. The vaccine is available starting this week at health care provider offices, local public health units or at participating pharmacies across the province.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare - protecting health care today and into the future.



“Our government is taking action to ensure people across Ontario have access to the care they need, when and where they need it. By investing in hospitals, community care and home care, we are reducing wait times and improving access to health care services across our health system’s entire continuum of care.”

- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister fo Health and Long-Term Care

"Every day, our clinicians work to provide the highest level of care to our patients at the right time and in the right care setting, whether that's acute care for our sickest patients, or rehabilitation and home care. This new investment will help patients who no longer require acute care to be safely transferred to the setting that is best suited to their clinical needs. We welcome this initiative and the collaborative approach to developing solutions for strengthening care in our province."

— Dr. Gary Newton, President and CEO, Sinai Health System 

“The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) appreciates the government’s leadership in moving swiftly to release this much-needed surge plan. These investments will improve the health system’s ability to serve patients this coming winter, especially during flu season. Given the extraordinary pressures currently facing Ontario’s health care system, it is imperative that hospitals, home and community service providers and government work together and do everything possible to ensure that Ontarians have appropriate access to health services.” 

— Anthony Dale, CEO, Ontario Hospital Association 

"As the voice of home care in Ontario, we applaud the government’s commitment to expanding access to care where people want it the most - in their own homes and communities. Home Care Ontario believes that these additional resources will not only increase the high-quality patient care people across Ontario want and deserve, but also recognizes the health care system is strongest when it is proactive, collaborative, and agile to improve the patient’s experience and the level of care."
— Sue VanderBent, CEO, Home Care Ontario 



  • Ontario is providing $140 million to make more hospital beds available and enhance home care services. This investment includes $100 million for hospitals to address increased demands for care, and $40 million for post-hospital and preventative care at home.
  • In the 2017 budget, Ontario committed $24 million to ensure patients are receiving care in the right place. As part of this commitment, the province will provide $21 million to fund 22 projects for short-term, transitional care, and $3 million to help seniors in hospital who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless with permanent housing and community support.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has more than doubled its investment in home care.
  • The flu vaccine is free to anyone over the age of six months who lives, works or goes to school in Ontario from a primary care provider or local public health clinic. The flu shot is also available at participating pharmacies for those five years of age and older.


For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)


Media Contacts:

Laura Gallant, Minister’s Office, 416-327-4450

David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care