Ontario Expanding Access to Specialized Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Redeveloped Casey House to Offer New Programs and Services for More People
Ontario is helping more people with HIV/AIDS get the health care they need through a major redevelopment of Casey House, Canada's first and only free-standing hospital for people living with the disease.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was joined today by people living with HIV and AIDS and staff in Toronto to celebrate the opening of the expansion, which includes the renovation of an existing heritage structure and the addition of a new state-of-the-art, four-storey facilty.
Two to three people are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS every day in Ontario, and the redeveloped Casey House will continue to provide care for people from around the province. The 58,000-square-foot building provides space for a new day-health program that will give 350 more people access to treatment through a combination of clinical services and community programs. This will more than double the number of people the hospital can serve, to a total of 650.
The expansion brings all Casey House programs and services under one roof. This will increase access to advanced care and provide a better overall experience for people who use the hospital, from crisis to end-of-life care. The new facility and programs will also enable more social interaction and give people living with HIV/AIDS the dignity they deserve -- reducing the isolation and stigma frequently associated with the disease, and improving people's overall health and quality of life.
At Casey House, people living with HIV/AIDS will have access to inter-professional teams, including nurses, mental health specialists, substance-use workers, massage therapists and other specialists in the new day-health program's therapy rooms and community space. People will also benefit from private inpatient beds, including respite beds offering 24-hour specialized support for those who need short-term intensive care.
Investing in quality health care for people living with HIV/AIDS is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan 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 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Founded in 1988, Casey House is Canada’s first and only free-standing hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Ontario has invested more than $38 million in the Casey House redevelopment project.
- The 2017 Budget committed an additional $9 billion to support hospital construction projects across the province, bringing total planned investment in hospital infrastructure to more than $20 billion over the next 10 years.
- Ontario is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province's history — more than $190 billion in public infrastructure over 13 years, starting in 2014–15.
“We have come a long way in the past three decades. After many years of stigma and loss, thanks to places like Casey House a positive diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. For as long as Casey House has existed, it has provided crucial, compassionate care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and for their loved ones. This expansion will allow Casey House to extend that care to even more people who need it, and our government is pleased to support this effort. This new facility will do so much to help restore health, hope and dignity to people across Ontario.”
“Casey House’s new redevelopment project is offering more people living with HIV/AIDS the specialized treatment and social interactions they need in a new and spacious facility. By improving these services and programs, we are ensuring that people living with HIV/AIDS have access to high-quality care, closer to home.”
“Infrastructure Ontario is proud to have partnered with Casey House to deliver a facility that will expand and improve services for people living with HIV/AIDS. While IO’s primary role is to build and maintain public infrastructure and real estate, all of our work is aimed at strengthening communities.”
“Casey House is one of the few places where people living with HIV/AIDS can seek care without judgement. We are more than a place that saves lives, we are a place that speaks up, shows understanding through compassion and empowers clients to get better. We make our clients’ humanity more visible than their disease.”