Ontario providing more funding for on-call care at Quinte Health hospitals
BAY OF QUINTE – Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte announced the Ontario government is investing an additional $442,573 at Quinte Health’s Belleville General Hospital and Trenton Memorial Hospital to support more on-call funding for doctors working after hours. This funding will help Bay of Quinte patients continue to get the care they need in hospital – right, when, and where they need it.
With the addition, the two hospitals will receive a maximum of $2,989,767 in base funding through the Hospital On-Call Coverage (HOCC) program in 2023-2024. The investment will bolster emergency department coverage in Trenton and support critical care and ophthalmology.
“This new funding through the Hospital On-Call Coverage program ensures Quinte Health will have more flexibility to respond to demand for physicians to work beyond their regular hours,” said Smith. “Ultimately, it should contribute to the delivery of timely, specialized care in our communities.”
The funding follows through on previous agreements between the Ontario Medical Association and Ontario Ministry of Health to increase dedicated funding for physicians on call. Across the province, the program will support on-call coverage at nearly 100 acute-care hospitals. It will allow for more stable after-hours coverage. The investment recognizes the efforts of health-care workers, especially those who provide on-call services in addition to their regular working hours whenever hospitals need it.
Dr. Colin MacPherson, the Chief of Staff at Quinte Health, appreciated the investment.
“With communities and hospitals across Ontario experiencing critical shortages of physicians, medical staff recruitment and retention has become very competitive. We are responding with innovative and collaborative approaches to attract doctors to Quinte Health. The government investment announced by MPP Smith today will help support and sustain these crucial efforts,” said MacPherson.
Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Minister of Health, said the investment fits the government’s Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care strategy to make it easier for people to get timely and appropriate care in convenient settings.
“Our government is ensuring hospitals have the funds needed so that their doctors can deliver high-quality care at any time of the day or night,” said Jones. “For patients visiting hospitals across Ontario, this funding means they’ll receive the care they need when it is needed.”
- The province invests over $259 million to support on-call coverage in acute-care hospitals across Ontario.
- This funding includes a $12.5 million investment from the 2021 Physician Services Agreement with the Ontario Medical Association which will also commits to a fundamental re-design of the Hospital On-Call Coverage program into a burden-based funding model. This ensures equitable distribution of funding across physicians providing on-call services.
- Over the last 3 years, the province has added more than 3,500 hospital beds across the province. Through 50 new major hospital development projects, Ontario will add another 3,000 new hospital beds over the next 10 years.
- Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care – www.ontario.ca/page/your-health-plan-connected-and-convenient-care
- Ontario reducing wait times for surgeries and procedures – news.ontario.ca/ en/release/1002641/ontario-reducing-wait-times-for-surgeries-and-procedures