Ontario continues to improve and transform all aspects of its health care system so that people have access to high-quality care, when and where they need it. In this Budget, an additional investment of more than $5 billion over the next three years will provide more and better access to services, and will also help reduce the stress and time associated with caring for loved ones.
Mental Health Matters
Providing better and faster access to mental health and addictions services for hundreds of thousands more children, young people and adults across Ontario — bringing the total funding to more than $17 billion over four years.
Stronger Hospitals, Better Care
Improving hospitals by providing better access to care, reducing wait times, addressing capacity issues and better meeting the needs of Ontario’s growing and aging population through an additional $822-million investment in 2018–19.
Reducing Drug and Dental Costs
Introducing a new Ontario Drug and Dental Program, reimbursing 80 per cent, up to a maximum of $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four with two children, of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses each year, for those without workplace health benefits or not covered by OHIP+ or other government programs.
Stronger hospitals, better care
- Investing approximately $19 billion over 10 years to build and renovate hospitals, including up to $2.4 billion for the design and construction of SickKids’ new Patient Care Centre and up to $1.8 billion for the design and construction of The Ottawa Hospital's Civic Campus redevelopment.
Expanding pharmacare with OHIP+
- Making prescriptions completely free for everyone 65 and over through OHIP+, ensuring that no senior citizen ever needs to go without necessary drugs. By eliminating the Ontario Drug Benefit annual deductible and co-pay, this saves the average Ontario senior $240 per year.
- Continuing to provide free prescriptions to children and youth through OHIP+. Since launching on January 1, 2018, almost three million prescriptions have been filled at no cost.
- Covering the cost of prescription drugs for nearly one in two people in Ontario — approximately 6.4 million people — through OHIP+ and leading the movement for a universal pharmacare program that expands medicare to make prescriptions free for all Canadians.
Mental health matters
- Providing every high school in Ontario with access to mental health support within the next two years to enable early intervention and promote prevention.
- Helping up to 350,000 more people across the province with anxiety and depression by increasing access to publicly funded psychotherapy, including children and youth.
- Adding 2,475 more supportive housing units over four years for those who require care in safe, affordable and appropriate housing.
- Creating at least 15 additional youth wellness hubs to improve access to services, fill critical service gaps for youth aged 12 to 25 and improve transitions to adult services.
- Establishing a new Local Service Priority Fund, which will strengthen mental health supports for LGBTQI2S, racialized, francophone, newcomer and rural young people who are underserved.
Helping caregivers and families
- Introducing the new Seniors’ Healthy Home Program. This recognizes the costs associated with older seniors living at home, where they want to be. It provides a benefit of up to $750 annually for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them live independently and offset the costs of maintaining their homes.
- Providing more access to home and community health care services, including 2.8 million more hours of personal support and 284,000 more nursing visits, through a $650-million investment over three years.
- Increasing the amount of daily care each person in a long-term care home receives, moving to an average of four hours.
- Creating 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next 10 years — adding 5,000 new beds by 2022 — to help people who can no longer live independently and provide peace of mind for people who care for them. These new beds are in addition to the 30,000 existing beds being redeveloped.