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2018 Budget Boosts Access to Health Care for Scarborough Families

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2018 Budget Boosts Access to Health Care for Scarborough Families

Ontario Expanding Primary Care for Newcomer Communities in Scarborough

Ministry of Health

Ontario is ensuring people in Scarborough can access the care they need closer to home, with significant new investments in primary care, home and community care, mental health and addictions, and other programs to help people support their loved ones.

Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care (CCRIHC) in Scarborough today to talk about how the province is strengthening health care in the community.

The CCRIHC is receiving new funding to connect people with teams of health care professionals, such as mental health workers, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals, to address a broad variety of healthcare needs. This team will help ensure that Scarborough patients and their families can access the care they need, closer to home. The province is also supporting the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities to further enhance access to care for vulnerable people with complex needs. As a result of this investment, there will be access to team-based care for people in every region of the province.

Ontario's 2018 Budget builds on this progress and includes new health care investments that will benefit people in Scarborough, such as:

  • Making prescriptions free for people 65 and over through an expansion of OHIP+. Starting August 1, 2019, about 112,000 seniors in Scarborough will no longer have to pay a deductible or co-payment for prescription medications. The province is already providing free prescriptions for everyone under 25, and with this expansion nearly one in two people in Ontario will have access to OHIP+.
  • Investing in mental health and addictions care to support the well-being of people in Scarborough and across the province -- including the one in three people in Ontario over the age of 15 who experience mental health or addictions challenges in their lifetime. In collaboration with patients and caregivers, Ontario will make the system more accessible, comprehensive and integrated, making it easier to receive services at any time through schools, family doctor's offices or community-based organizations.
  • Faster access to care and expanded services at the local hospital. In 2017, there were over 280,000 visits to Scarborough and Rouge Hospital.
  • Home and community care services in the region will be improved with an estimated 336,000 more hours of personal support, 34,000 more nursing visits and 7,000 more therapy visits.

Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25,and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $678,400 in the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care to enhance team-based primary care for recent newcomer populations and those who are homeless or underhoused.
  • The province is also investing $804,300 in the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities to further strengthen access to team-based primary care for vulnerable people with complex needs.
  • The 2017 Budget committed $102 million over three years to expand access to interprofessional primary care through models such as family health teams, nurse practitioner led clinics, community health centres and others. Ontario is also investing $330 million over five years to help primary care organizations recruit and retain qualified health professionals to help maintain a stable primary care workforce and improve access to primary care in communities across the province.
  • As part of the 2018 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $5 billion in health care over the next three years.
  • Ontario’s health care budget will total $61.3 billion in 2018–19 — a five per cent increase from the previous year.
  • The 2018 Budget includes proposed investments of $575 million per year by 2020-21 to align the seniors pharmacare program with OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare; an additional $2.1 billion for mental health and addictions care over the next four years; an additional $822 million in 2018-19 for hospital operating funding; and an additional $650 million over the next three years to improve home and community care services.
  • Ontario is reducing hospital wait times by addressing capacity issues and providing better care closer to home. With this funding boost, hospitals will be able to better invest in the care and supports needed by patients and their communities.
  • The province is continuing to create 5,000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade. By 2022, residents in long-term care homes will also have access to 15 million more hours of care from nurses, personal support workers, and therapeutic care workers every year.

Additional Resources


“Our government is investing in care and welcoming recent newcomers to Ontario by enhancing services in Scarborough and throughout the province. With this investment, we are supporting access to high-quality health care, closer to home.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Our government is continuing to support the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care in Scarborough-Agincourt. This funding will ensure ongoing equal access to quality health care for new Canadians.”

Soo Wong

MPP, Scarborough-Agincourt

“Since 1999, the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care (CCRIHC) has been dedicated to ensuring equitable access to health care for Ontario’s recent newcomer populations in Scarborough and the GTA. This base funding investment in the CCRIHC by the Ontario Government ensures the expansion of access to health care for Ontario’s recent newcomers through the growth in interprofessional care teams and their integration. Our health care team is most grateful.”

Dr. Paul Caulford

Co-Founder and Medical Director, Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare

“The Central East LHIN, together with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and in partnership with its health service providers, is focused on increasing access to primary care services for the diverse populations in our Scarborough sub-regions – Scarborough North and Scarborough South. Through the transformative leadership of primary care providers and their organizations, we are continuing to see how integrated interprofessional health care teams, in partnership with patients and their caregivers, are working together to provide timely and coordinated care so that people are able to live healthier at home.”

Louis O’Brien

Board Chair, Central East LHIN

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