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Ontario Connecting Children and Youth in York Region to Care Close to Home

Monday February 12, 2024

  • Families and Babies

Over $6.3 million boost in funding to expand paediatric services

The Ontario government is investing over $6.3 million to increase access to paediatric services for children and youth in York Region so they have the care they need, when they need it, right in their own community. This is part of the province’s investment of an additional $330 million each year in pediatric health services at hospitals and community-based health care facilities across Ontario.

“Our government is making record investments in the health and well-being of our children,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The pediatric funding provided to services in York Region will have a tremendous impact on children and their families, ensuring they receive faster access to care when they need it.”

The more than $6.3 million in additional funding will support programs and services at Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York ($3.7 million – which serves both Simcoe County and York Region), Oak Valley Health ($2.3 million) and Southlake Regional Health Centre ($350,000). The funding will be used to:

  • Increase access to children’s rehabilitation services, including speech-language pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy through the Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York and increase access to early intervention services through the Preschool Speech and Language program at Oak Valley Health.
  • Assess, diagnose, and treat more children and youth over the age of six months who are experiencing urgent, non-life threatening conditions at the Children’s Rapid Access Clinic located at Oak Valley Health’s Community Health Clinic in Stouffville.
  • Help more expectant mothers conveniently connect to Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Alongside Midwifery Unit which provides specialized birthing care to infants and families in a more relaxed and comfortable environment.
  • Provide complex continuing care closer to home by expanding the Complex Care Clinic at Oak Valley Health and upskilling staff.
  • Increase the number of people who can be seen, triaged and cared for on-site in the emergency department at the Southlake Regional Health Centre and Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville site, by supporting ED diversion clinics that connect people to care in the right place instead of going to emergency departments.

“Our government is taking action to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province have quick and convenient access to the care they need,” said Dawn Gallagher Murphy, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. “This investment will make it easier and faster for young people in York Region to connect to the care they need closer to home.”

This consistent and stable annual funding increase will ensure hospitals in York Region have the people, resources and technology to improve access to pediatric care and prevent backlogs. Over 100 high-priority initiatives are being quickly implemented across Ontario to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province can connect to emergency care, surgeries, ambulatory services, diagnostic imaging, and mental health services.

“Ontario is putting children and youth first by ensuring they receive the care they need when they need it,” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “Our government’s significant investment in pediatric care will reduce waitlists, improve access to clinical assessments, early intervention, and children’s rehabilitation services, such as speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. This means less time waiting for services, quicker recovery, and better quality of life for children and their families in York Region and across the province.”

Through Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the Ontario government is providing significant financial support to hospitals and communities to improve how they deliver pediatric care – ensuring Ontarians of all ages can access care easier, faster, and closer to home in their communities.

“We’re thankful for the Ontario government’s support to increase capacity and services at Southlake,” said Paul Woods, MD, President and CEO, Southlake. The communities we serve are among the fastest growing in Ontario, helping to make Southlake one of the most overcrowded hospitals in the province. Each year, Southlake’s Emergency Department sees more than 115,000 visits, meaning a new patient arrives every four and a half minutes. More families than ever are turning to Southlake for care and this funding will help ensure we can continue to provide leading edge care to our youngest patients.”