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

$8.4 million boost in funding to expand pediatric services
Groups of individuals at Dec 20 event
Published Date

NEWS RELEASE
Ontario Connecting Children and Youth in Durham Region to Care Close to Home
$8.4 million boost in funding to expand pediatric services
December 20, 2023
Ministry of Health

        
WHITBY — The Ontario government is investing more than $8.4 million to increase access to pediatric services for children and youth in Durham Region and surrounding areas so they have the care they need, when they need it, right in their own community. This is part of the government’s investment of an additional $330 million each year in pediatric health services at hospitals and community-based health care facilities across the province.
“Our government is making record investments in the health and well-being of our children,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This ongoing pediatric funding provided to services in the Durham region will have a tremendous impact on children and their families, ensuring they receive faster access to care when they need it.”

The $8.4 million in additional funding will support programs and services at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences ($1.8 million) and the Grandview Children's Centre ($6.64 million). The funding will be used to:

  • Create a new Adolescent Eating Disorder Day Treatment Program that connects people to the right level of care and ensures smooth transitions between services, including an eight-hour daily treatment program. 
  • Reduce wait times for people to connect to specialized mental health supports after being discharged from an eating disorder treatment centre by expanding the Adolescent Eating Disorder Day Community-Based Outpatient Program. 
  • Hire additional staff to expand the Adolescent Eating Disorder Inpatient Unit and lower the patient-to-staff ratio to help people connect to more direct therapeutic care. 
  • Increase access to children’s rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language services through the Grandview Children’s Centre.

“Our government is continuing to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province have access to high-quality and convenient care, closer to home” said Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. “This investment in Durham Region will make it easier and faster for young people and their families to connect to the care they need for years to come.”

This consistent and stable annual funding increase will ensure hospitals and children’s rehabilitation providers in Durham 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 Durham 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, which include speech and language pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy 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. 
  • The government has also removed barriers for parents who have concerns about their child’s development by ensuring that all Children’s Treatment Centres and Surrey Place can assess children without a referral, which will help with early interventions and access to services.    
            

Quotes

"Grandview Kids expresses deep gratitude for the ground-breaking investment in Ontario's paediatric health care system. This funding will enable Grandview Kids to better respond to surging service demand for children and youth with communication, physical and developmental needs in Durham Region."
- Tom McHugh
CEO, Grandview Children's Centre

"Ontario Shores is delighted to receive funding for our adolescent eating disorders program. Together with our partners, we can provide life-saving treatment for adolescents struggling with the devastating impact of this illness. With inpatient, outpatient and day treatment services, we can provide exemplary patient and family-centred care to support the individual recovery goals of each patient, leading to a brighter and healthier tomorrow."
- Karim Mamdami
President and CEO, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

"Our government is proud to help children and youth with eating disorders get care closer to home. Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening disorders. This is a crucial step forward to increase access to care and help children and adolescents receive the specialized treatment they need."
- Lorne Coe
MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier

"Our government will continue to make the necessary investments in programs for children and adolescents who will benefit from the expanded services offered by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health and the Grandview Children’s Centre. Investments toward the hiring of additional staff, reducing wait times for specialized mental health supports and expanding the Inpatient Units will improve the quality-of-service Ontario Shores and Grandview provide to our community and all clients they serve across Durham Region."
- Todd McCarthy
MPP for Durham

"Our government continues to support the well-being of our youth by providing them with the tools they need to thrive during one of the most critical growth periods in their lives. With this $8.1 million investment in collaboration with Grandview Children's Centre and Ontario Shores, we're accelerating access to supports for eating disorders and paediatric rehabilitation, as well as hiring more staff to connect more patients to direct therapeutic care."
- Patrice Barnes
MPP for Ajax    
        

Additional Resources

  • Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care 
  • Ontario Connecting Children and Youth to Care Close to Home 
  • Ontario Expanding Mental Health Services for Children and Youth in Every Corner of the Province 
  • Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System    
            

Media Contacts

Hannah Jensen
Minister Jones’ Office
@email

 

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