October 23, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, announced an investment of $8.7 million to expand Quinte Health Care Network and to improve health care access in Prince Edward County.
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott were joined by Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and MPP for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott responded to questions from media regarding the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Investment in Quinte Health Care Network
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott announced an investment of $8.7 million to support the planning and design of the new Quinte Health Care Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in Picton. This new hospital will replace the existing aged facility, and expand capacity and access to health care in the region.
The new facility will include six additional in-patient beds, a 24/7 emergency department, modern surgical suites, dialysis treatments and diagnostic imaging, and outpatient care services.
Following design of the new hospital, project procurement is expected to begin in 2021.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
When asked to update on Ontario’s progress regarding the improvement of standards in the province’s long-term care homes, Premier Ford confirmed that he had a conversation with the federal government last week on this issue. He also reiterated his call for funding from the federal government, adding that it is “not sustainable” for Ontario to fund this effort on its own.
In response to questions about the long-term care staffing study from July, Minister Elliott confirmed that the government is taking steps to implement recommendations, particularly in the areas of health human resources.
Regions in Modified Stage 2
When asked about whether the government was planning on rolling additional public health regions back to modified Stage 2, Premier Ford said that the government would be discussing various regions in the province which are observing an escalation in case numbers over the weekend. Regarding Halton region, he added that the rise in case numbers in the area is “concerning” and that he has spoken with regional mayors.
In response to questions about plans to maintain hospital capacity in the second wave, Minister Elliott explained that the government has created a number of transitional care spaces to provide the appropriate level of care for Ontarians awaiting space in a long-term care home, who do not require hospital care. She added that the government is working to keep 10 per cent of hospital capacity available in the event of a surge in cases, while also prioritizing procedures which were postponed during the first wave.