SAULT STE. MARIE ― The Ontario government is providing The Sault Area Hospital with $249,400 to build a new critical care bed to help alleviate hospital pressures and support in the intensive care unit. The funding will improve access to critical care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our frontline workers at the Sault Area Hospital have been tremendous in protecting the community, preventing the spread of COVID-19 and delivering exceptional care to patients,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “By providing an extra critical care bed in our hospital, we’re supporting the frontline workers who have been working tirelessly to serve our community. This additional bed will also ensure our ICU has enough beds to meet the needs of the community and provide a sense of security for patients—and their family—in critical conditions knowing there is a bed readily available for them.”
As outlined in the COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, the government is providing $2.8 billion to address surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by:
Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging;
Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity;
Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care;
Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports; and
Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Minister Elliott. “This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster.”
The province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19. This plan will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients and treat patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests. The province will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face.
“Sault Area Hospital appreciates this funding support from the Ontario government. These funds will support SAH in our efforts to ensure our continued readiness for the impacts of COVID-19 on our community and our hospital. This new funding will support our ability to remain committed to providing quality, safe care to all our patients and their families. As well, this funding ensures our staff and physicians ongoing dedication is supported during these challenging times,” Wendy Hansson President & CEO of Sault Area Hospital.
Building on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the province’s $30 billion response to the pandemic, the government remains committed to providing necessary resources to protect people’s health and support people, families, workers and business owners. Ontario will release its 2020 Budget and the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan on November 5, 2020.
With a recent increase in cases of COVID-19, it remains vital for the government to continue to protect vulnerable populations and for each Ontarian to follow public health advice.