Transformative Investment in Life-Saving Care for Children
March 23, 2018
New SickKids Patient Care Centre a Game-Changer for Children’s Health
Ontario’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is already one of the world’s largest and most respected pediatric hospitals. It has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and their families across Ontario. To make sure SickKids can continue to provide the most advanced, compassionate care to children from all over Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the upcoming provincial Budget will support a new Patient Care Centre at SickKids.The Premier was joined at SickKids today by Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, to explain how Ontario’s investment will provide leading care for the youngest patients from all across the province.
Premier Wynne announced that Ontario is investing up to $2.4 billion for design and construction as part of this massive redevelopment that will transform SickKids into a 21st-century facility, modernize aging equipment and spaces, and boost the hospital’s capacity to provide leading-edge care for children.
The new Patient Care Centre will bring together vital services, including emergency and critical care, surgical care, bone marrow transplants, as well as diagnostic services and specialty clinics. It will provide a more comfortable experience for families and give doctors and researchers the tools they need to translate research discoveries into new treatments, giving more children and their families faster access to the best care.
Building a SickKids that can continue to provide the world’s best care to Ontario’s children is part of a broader health care infrastructure commitment that is bringing faster, better care to people in communities across the province. The province is investing more than $19 billion over the next 10 years to improve and expand hospitals. There are 40 major hospital projects either under construction or in planning stages.
Investing in new hospitals and the best in children’s health care is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 and everyone 65 and over through OHIP+, the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- SickKids is the largest centre in the country dedicated to improving children’s health and one of a handful of Ontario hospitals that sees patients from all 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). It is the only hospital in Ontario that conducts pediatric heart transplants, bone marrow transplants and most solid organ transplants.
- The 2018 Budget will renew our focus on the supports and services families in the province need right now — including more investments in hospitals, mental health, long-term care and child care.
- In addition to building new hospitals, Ontario is increasing operating funding for hospitals by $822 million in 2018–19, a 4.6 per cent boost. This includes an extra $109 million for hospitals in the Toronto Central LHIN and a funding increase of $15.4 million in 2018-19 for SickKids.
- Ontario is the first province to provide free drug coverage to all children and youth under the age of 25, saving families the high cost of life-saving drugs. Since OHIP+ began this January, over one million children and youth have benefited from having access to free prescription medications.
- Starting in August 2019, Ontario plans to make prescription drugs free for seniors through OHIP+ for Seniors 65 and over.
- Ontario is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with a funding boost of $2.1 billion that brings total mental health care spending to more than $17 billion over four years — the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history