July 19, 2023 (OTTAWA, Ontario) – The Ontario Government Made Kids Count with a historic investment of $330 million to expand children’s health care across the province.
This investment will allow children’s hospitals and community-based providers across the province to expand services and reduce wait times for essential children’s health care services, including surgeries, procedures, diagnostic imaging, mental health treatment, and child development and rehabilitation.
Every day matters in the life of a child, and children across Ontario are currently waiting longer than adults for critical health care services. In fact, close to two-thirds of patients at Ontario’s children’s hospitals have already passed the clinically recommended wait time for their surgery. In the community, 90,000 children and youth are waiting for community- and school-based child development and rehabilitation services, and over 28,000 children are waiting for mental health treatment across the province.
Today’s announcement is a turning point for the hundreds of thousands of children across Ontario waiting for care. This expansion of children’s health care is a critical step towards right-sizing the pediatric health system to meet the needs of Ontario’s almost 3 million children and their families. Not only will this lead to better access to the right care at the right time and place, but it will also prevent further complications and challenges down the road, leading to better outcomes for an entire generation.
We thank the provincial government for hearing our rallying cry and responding with this system-wide investment to expand children’s health care in communities across Ontario. As providers of children’s health care, we are committed to maximizing these investments and ensuring the best outcomes for all of Ontario’s children, youth, and families.
“Ontario’s welcome investment is the first of its kind—a broad strategy and multi-pronged investment in children’s hospitals and in community-based care. We’re ready to do things differently—to look at the whole system of care, not just certain elements of it. Empowered Kids Ontario is a proud partner in this collaborative effort that is a game changer for kids and families.”
Jennifer Churchill, CEO, Empowered Kids Ontario
“Children and youth with disabilities and developmental differences, medical complexity and rehabilitation needs have faced an unprecedented crisis in terms of wait times and overall access to services. This investment will help families access the care and services they need, when they need them. We applaud this announcement and will continue to work together with government and pediatric health care partners in hospitals and community to drive change across the continuum of care, so that all children can maximize their ability to live meaningful lives and have healthy futures.” Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
with submission from Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO), full report available here