The provincial government says it will spend $1 billion over the next three years to expand home care in the province.
At a press 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 in advance of the provincial election in June.
The Ontario Hospital Association says that as of 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 ensure Ontarians can receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes and alleviate unnecessary pressure on our hospitals 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 care for patients, reduce wait times and end hallway healthcare, said Elliott.
The province says the funding is in addition to the $548.5 million investment plan that was announced in Ontario's Fall Economic Statement in 2021.
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.