Ontario provides $5 million in new funding to help Quinte Health Care hospitals address budget pressures



Trenton – Patients at Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals will benefit from the Province’s investment of an additional $5 million in new funding, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced this morning.

Smith said the Province has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, that involves working with  hospital partners, like Quinte Health Care, to fix long-standing funding issues that disadvantaged small- and mid-sized hospitals, and multi-site hospitals like the four-site corporation.

“We’ve had productive discussions about this funding and the board and staff at QHC have done their part, finding efficiencies and maintaining a high standard of care in our communities,” said Smith. “We are here today to say that we have listened. Our government is supporting hospitals like QHC by ensuring they have the resources they need to meet the growing needs of our communities.”

He indicated the funding would ensure families in Hasting and Prince Edward counties continue to have access to high-quality care, address sector challenges and funding inequities, and protect existing core services in communities across the province.

Kramp added the investment is a step toward permanently fixing the funding formula.

“We made the case that the funding formula for rural hospitals had to change. Today, however, we’re talking about a bridge between now and then,” said Kramp. “This new investment in QHC is another example of how Ontario is supporting high-quality and timely access to health care, while delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care. “

QHC President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Clare Egberts was pleased the Province recognized the budgetary pressures hospitals are facing and took action.

“We are pleased and grateful the Ministry has provided additional dollars to help QHC this year. QHC hospitals have not been funded equitably under the funding formula for a number of years as we were treated as one large hospital when, in fact, we operate two medium and two small hospitals,” said Egberts. “Today’s announcement is a significant gesture of support and we are thrilled the government has recognized the unique challenges faced by hospitals like QHC and is taking steps to remedy historical funding inequities.”

The $5-million funding increase for QHC is part of a $68-million investment Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced Thursday that will benefit 66 small-sized hospitals and 23 medium-sized and multi-site hospitals. It includes province-wide increases of one per cent for small-sized hospitals, 1.5 per cent for medium-sized and multi-site hospital as well as targeted funding to assist with unique situations and historical funding challenges.

“We have listened to patients, frontline staff and key stakeholders to determine how we can fix historical inequities to provide financial stability and relief to hospitals, regardless of their size,” said Elliott.

That $68 million is on top of $384 million in new funding Ontario hospitals received through the 2019-2020 budget. Ontario will also invest $27 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects across the province, including the addition of 3,000 new hospital beds.

Both Smith and Kramp indicated the Ontario government would continue to engage with hospitals, including QHC, and other health-care partners on solutions that ensure funding continues to meet the growing demands on the sector.