January 18, 2021, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, were in Vaughan to announce the imminent opening of Mackenzie Health’s new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. The new hospital, which is scheduled to open on February 7, will temporarily operate as a systemwide resource to support the province’s COVID-19 response.
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott also announced an investment of up to $125 million to immediately add over 500 critical care and high intensity medicine beds to hospitals in areas with high rates of COVID-19.
The province has also amended a regulation to enable hospitals to temporarily redeploy health care workers to other hospitals or retirement homes in urgent need of additional support.
The government also announced that francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund on January 25.
Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care approved a voluntary management agreement which allows Mackenzie Health to provide enhanced support to Villa Leonardo Gambin long-term care home in Woodbridge. The agreement will be in effect for 90 days, but may be extended if necessary.
Ontario is also investing $1 million from the Ontario Together Fund to support Peterborough-based Merit Precision with the manufacturing of bottles for hand sanitizers and disinfectants.
Addition of 500 Critical Care Beds and Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital Opening
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott announced an investment of up to $125 million to immediately add over 500 critical care and high intensity medicine beds to Ontario’s healthcare system. The additional beds will create surge capacity in order to reduce pressures on hospitals in regions with high transmission of COVID-19, including Toronto, Windsor, Durham, Kingston, and Ottawa.
In response to questions from media, Minister Elliott acknowledged that the province is looking throughout the healthcare system to determine where hospitals have the physical space and health human resources capacity to bring new critical care beds online. She added that she hoped these new beds would be available “very quickly.”
Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital
A portion of the investment announced today will be directed at Mackenzie Health’s new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, which is scheduled to open on February 7. In light of the current level of strain on Ontario’s hospital sector, Cortelluci Vaughan Hospital will temporarily open as a dedicated resource to support the province’s COVID-19 response by taking in critical care patients from surrounding hospitals to ease capacity pressures. The new hospital will provide a total of 185 beds, including 35 critical care beds and 150 general medicine beds.
Once COVID-19 pressures on the hospital sector have stabilized, Cortellucci Vaughan hospital will provide care and services to patients from across western York region, as originally planned.
Redeployment of Hospital Staff
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott also announced today that the province has amended O. Reg 74/20 (Work Redeployment for Certain Health Services Providers) in order to allow hospitals to temporarily redeploy health care workers to other hospitals or retirement homes in urgent need of additional support. The province previously amended this order to enable hospital staff to temporarily be redeployed to long-term care homes.