One-Stop Health Care Access for Children in Eastern Ontario
Ontario Commits Funding to Integrate Mental Health and Special Needs Services at CHEO
Today Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the government is supporting the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to bring its mental health and special needs services for children together under one roof. This will provide better care for patients and reduce stress on their parents and families.
The government will invest $105 million for a new expansion at CHEO to build a new Children's Treatment Centre facility. This investment will help create an integrated and modern facility and allow the hospital to consolidate services and provide more customized support for developmental, rehabilitation, behavioural and mental health in one space.
Bringing these services together under one roof means children with multiple health care needs can access the right care under a single health care team. The new facility will reduce wait times and improve comfort, while providing more privacy, safety and accessibility for patients and their families.
This investment is part of the upcoming Budget, which will focus on the supports and services families in Ontario need right now -- including investing more in hospitals, mental health, long-term care and child care across the province.
The new six-story, 230,440 square-foot facility will bring together 11 separate services -- including mental health services, the Autism Program of Eastern Ontario, applied behavioural analysis and the Blind-Low Vision Program -- currently spread across eight different locations throughout the National Capital Region, into one building. The new building will be located on the CHEO-OCTC campus, adjacent to the main building on Smyth Road, which incorporates both CHEO and the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre.
Increasing access for children to mental health and special needs services in Eastern Ontario 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.
- CHEO-OCTC is a pediatric health and research centre, which provides rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs, including specialized programs for eating disorders, autism, psychiatric mental health, sexual assault, telepsychiatry and early language development.
- CHEO is one of only a few stand-alone pediatric hospitals in Canada, and has more than 6,900 admissions, 7,800 surgeries and 168,800 clinic visits each year. It also has one of the busiest pediatric emergency rooms in the country, treating more than 72,100 patients a year.
- Ontario is the first province to provide free drug coverage to all children and youth under the age of 25, saving families the high cost of life-saving drugs. More than 4,400 drugs are covered, including asthma inhalers, diabetes test strips, birth control and many others.
- Since the OHIP+ program began on January 1, over one million people have already benefited from having access to free prescription medications.
“Every day, parents and caregivers in Eastern Ontario are struggling to find their child the right combination of care. It’s stressful and we can do better. That’s why our government is committed to helping CHEO expand to provide more children with increased access to mental health and special needs services, all under one roof. It will mean better care for kids, and less worry for parents and families. Ontario’s children deserve every chance at a healthy, safe and productive life. For years, CHEO has been dedicated to delivering life-changing care to countless children, and this commitment will allow them to continue that care.”
“CHEO’s #1door4care is a visionary project that will lead to better access, care and shorter wait times for some of the most vulnerable children in this province, including young people with complex conditions, mental health challenges and special needs. By helping families to access services under one roof, with more streamlined co-ordination across providers, CHEO is closing the gap between families and the services they rely on. I look forward to hearing more about the success stories coming out of this project, and I applaud CHEO for its work to help kids access incredible care quickly and easily.”
“We are committed to making sure children and youth across Ontario have access to high-quality health care close to home. By increasing access to mental health and special needs services at CHEO-OCTC, our government is helping children grow up healthy, strong and able to reach their full potential.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek
“This is great news for families in Eastern Ontario. CHEO’s #1door4care is a project that has been a longtime in the making. This will allow families to have the one-stop access for care that their child needs. I am proud of our government's commitment to putting Patients First and continuing to invest in the things that matter most.”
“We are so pleased for the families we serve. #1door4care means better service and shorter waits for kids and youth with special needs and mental health challenges. It means redirecting money spent on multiple facilities toward frontline service. It means creating a hub that brings together providers, families, services and community organizations. It means working to make life simpler for families who use many of our programs.”