The Ontario government is investing more than $115 million to support 850 home care patients and expanding virtual care for patients across the province.
“With today’s modern medical advances and technology, and with the help of our dedicated nurses and personal support workers, we are ready to provide quality care for patients in their own homes and in their communities,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The new program, called the High Intensity Supports at Home program, will help patients with high care needs transition from the hospital to their home or community setting, while adding more capacity in hospitals.
The supports the government is referring to in the program may include up to 11 hours per day of personal support services and nursing services, as well as community services such as Meals on Wheels, homemaking, and transportation to appointments.
The program funds will provide approximately 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and approximately 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
“Connecting patients with the care they need, when and where they need it will help keep Ontarians healthy and avoid unnecessary visits and stays at the hospital. This program will help ensure Ontario’s hospitals have the capacity needed to address those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
Part of this investment includes $14.5 million to help expand virtual care for Ontario Health teams and home and community care workers, by equipping health care providers with the support needed to sustain current capacity and improve the quality of virtual care.
The government says $9.5 million will also go towards remote patient monitoring programs and $5 million will be provided directly to frontline home and community care service providers.
These investments are part of the province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, and are designed to help preserve hospital capacity while supporting home and community care workers and improving access to patients that need home and virtual care services.
Original news release
Press conference video
Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19