Ontario Hiring Additional Health Care Workers in Niagara

Beamsville – As part of the work on the government’s Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, the Ontario government is investing nearly $764 million in the province’s annual Land Ambulance Service Grant (LASG) to help local municipalities facing increased cost pressures in their emergency departments.

The province is also investing $16.1 million in 20 communities across the province through the Dedicated Offload Nurses Program (DONP) to hire additional nurses and health care workers, including paramedics, respiratory therapists and physician assistants, who are dedicated to offloading ambulance patients in emergency departments.

As part of this funding, the Regional Municipality of Niagara is receiving $26,651,963 – an increase of $1,092,786 from 2021 – through the LASG to support the hiring of additional paramedics, wage and cost of living adjustments and general ambulance services operation to meet the needs of the local community.

Through the LASG, municipalities receive funding for fifty percent of the costs for their land ambulance operations. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to building a modern, sustainable and connected emergency health system that supports every Ontarian on their health care journey. This also supports the government’s work on the Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, to ease pressures on our health care system, hire more health care workers and providing the right care in the right place to Ontarians.

The Ontario government is also continuing to fund 100 per cent of costs for Central Ambulance Communications Centres (CACCs) to dispatch ambulances, helping to deliver equitable emergency health services to Ontarians across the province.

In addition to the LASG funding, the Regional Municipality of Niagara is receiving $817,662 through the Dedicated Offload Nurses Program (DONP).

This support will help ambulances return out to communities faster, enabling them to respond to more 9-1-1 calls with quicker turnaround times.

“The LASG and DONP funding is critical in supporting our frontline response in local communities across Niagara,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“As local MPP, I have been advocating for increased support to our local emergency medical services and offload health care workers. This provincial support will reduce ambulance wait times, allowing paramedics to respond to other emergency calls.”

In addition to this $16.1 million in support for 20 municipalities in 2022-23, Ontario is investing an additional $7 million in the program for 2022–23 as announced in the 2022 Ontario Budget: Ontario’s Plan to Build.

This additional funding will expand the program to new municipalities while providing additional support to previously funded communities where this program has already been regarded as a success. This funding will be used to enable the recruitment of additional frontline health care workers to improve ambulance patient offload times in emergency departments, improving the patient experience and allowing paramedics to spend more time responding to 9-1-1 calls in the community.