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Ontario Introduces A Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery

Toronto – The Ontario government has introduced its Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, a five-point plan to provide the best care possible to patients and residents while ensuring the resources and supports are in place to keep the province and economy open.

“This plan further bolsters Ontario’s health care workforce, expands innovative models of care and ensures hospital beds are there for patients, including expanding beds and increasing critical capacity in Niagara,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“Patients across our region can expect to see faster access to health care, including lower wait times in emergency rooms, lower wait times for surgical procedures and more care options in their local communities – and always accessing the care they need when they need it through their OHIP card.”

“When we released our first Plan to Stay Open in March 2022, we made a promise to build an Ontario that is ready for the challenges of tomorrow because we can no longer accept the status quo,” said Hon. Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“The second phase of our plan will provide the support our health system needs to address the urgent pressures of today while preparing for a potential winter surge so our province and economy can stay open.”

When fully implemented, this next phase of the Plan to Stay Open will add up to 6,000 more health care workers. Combined with the initiatives included in the first phase of the plan that are adding 13,000 more staff, the two plans together are adding 19,000 more health care workers, including nurses and personal support workers, to Ontario’s health workforce. It will also free up over 2,500 hospital beds so that care is there for those who need it, and expand models of care that provide better, more appropriate care to avoid unnecessary visits to emergency departments.

The next phase of Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open also temporarily covers the costs of examination, application and registration fees for internationally trained and retired nurses, so they can resume or begin caring for patients sooner.