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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

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

NEWMARKET — The Ontario government is investing over $6.3 million to increase access to pediatric 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.

 

 Quick Facts:


  • Supporting the mental health and well-being of people in Ontario is a key priority for this government. That is why we are providing a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions (MHA) system that offers high-quality, evidence-based services and supports where and when they need them.

  • In 2020, the government released Roadmap to Wellness, our plan to build a world-class mental health and addictions system.

  • In addition to investing in existing services, Roadmap to Wellness investments are supporting the introduction of new innovative programs to begin to address wait lists and times and ensure access to timely and appropriate services.

  • For example, Ontario recently expanded One Stop Talk, a virtual walk-in mental health counselling service for children, youth and families. Once fully implemented, it will provide immediate, low barrier access to brief counselling services through a single virtual access point from anywhere in the province.

  • The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services funds children’s rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs. These services include speech-language pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy delivered in schools and community locations. The Preschool Speech and Language Program provides assessments and services for children with speech and language difficulties and disorders from birth to transition to school.

  • Families with questions about their child’s development and support needs can contact their local children’s treatment centre or Surrey Place in Toronto.

 

 Quotes:

 

"We’re thankful for the Ontario government’s support to increase capacity and services at 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."


- Paul Woods M.D.

President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre


"We welcome this further investment in the health and well-being of our youngest patients. This funding will allow Oak Valley Health to deliver both new and enhanced pediatric services. The funding also ensures we can support families closer to home, and ensure they receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time."


- Jo-Anne Marr

President and CEO, Oak Valley Health


"We appreciate the government’s historic investment in pediatric health services. The additional funding represents a significant movement towards enhancing the well-being of kids and youth with disabilities and developmental needs. It demonstrates a commitment to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone, which aligns with CTN’s vision of a vibrant community where all kids, youth and families belong."


- Karen Eisler

CEO, Children’s Treatment Network


"Oak Valley Health’s recognition as a recipient of substantial funding from our government’s investment in pediatric health services is a crucial development. Recognized by both the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health, this underscores our unwavering commitment to enhancing local health care. The allocated funds will swiftly drive the implementation of vital pediatric care initiatives at Oak Valley Health. It is truly gratifying to witness Oak Valley Health playing a key role in strengthening health care infrastructure, reducing wait times, and prioritizing the well-being of our community’s children and youth."


- Paul Calandra

MPP Markham-Stouffville


"I am proud of this investment to expand and improve access to pediatric care, so that we can reduce waitlists and meaningfully improve access to clinical assessments, early intervention, and children’s rehabilitation services for families in King, Vaughan, and beyond. Our government recently expanded mental health beds at Southlake, and today, we are taking another step forward to better support our kids with access to critical services closer to home, like speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. This will make a difference."


- Stephen Lecce

MPP King-Vaughan


"Our government’s record investments are making it easier and faster for children and youth to connect to the care they need closer to home. Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York receiving this $3.69 million investment is great news that will help ensure children and youth receive the care they need when they need it."


- Caroline Mulroney

MPP York-Simcoe


"Our government's investment of over $6.3 million in York Region's pediatric services marks a pivotal step towards ensuring our children receive the care they need, close to home. By enhancing vital programs at key health facilities, we are committing to a future where timely, quality care for our youth is a given, not a luxury. This funding underscores our dedication to the health and well-being of our youngest citizens, right here in our community."


- Logan Kanapathi

MPP Markham-Thornhill


"This significant funding will have a transformative impact on the health and well-being of children and families in our community and beyond. It's heartening to see our government prioritize the needs of our youngest citizens, which is a testament to our commitment to building a healthier, more resilient York Region."


- Billy Pang

MPP Markham-Unionville


"With improved access to rehabilitation services, early intervention programs, and specialized birthing care, we are ensuring that young people in York Region receive the care they need, when they need it. This is a critical step towards building a stronger, more resilient healthcare system for all Ontarians."


- Daisy Wai

MPP Richmond Hill


"This investment is a positive step to making sure the children and youth of York Region can get the healthcare they deserve. Our government’s continued investments for pediatric services will ensure children and youth in Ontario can depend on a strong health care system that is there for them now and in the future."


- Laura Smith

MPP Thornhill


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