A Plan to Stay Open is the fifth pillar in the government’s plan. With more than 32 million vaccine doses administered and more than 90 percent of people aged 12 and over fully vaccinated, Ontario has fared better than many jurisdictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has cautiously lifted restrictions, and the economy is recovering. To meet the challenges that may lie ahead, the government is making significant investments in its plan to stay open.
- Expanding Ontario’s health care workforce by:
- Launching the new Learn and Stay Grant for up to 2,500 eligible postsecondary students who enrol in priority programs, such as nursing and work in underserved communities in the region where they studied after graduation.
- Helping retain nurses across the health sector and stabilize the current nursing workforce by investing $764 million over two years to provide Ontario’s nurses with a retention incentive of up to $5,000 per person.
- Building on the 8,600 health care workers added to the system since March 2020, investing $230 million in 2022–23 to enhance health-care capacity.
- Investing $42.5 million over two years beginning in 2023–24 to support the expansion of 160 undergraduate and 295 post-graduate positions, including at the new medical schools in Brampton and Scarborough.
- Shoring up domestic production of critical supplies and ensuring Ontario is prepared for future emergencies by committing, as of April 2022, more than $77 million of the Ontario Together Fund to leverage almost $230 million in investments to support manufacturing of Ontario-made PPE.
- Embracing the opportunity to become a global hub for biomanufacturing and life sciences and making a strategic investment of $15 million over three years in a new Life Sciences Innovation Program to develop and scale up the commercial potential of therapeutics and medical and digital technologies.
- Building and improving hospitals by investing more than $40 billion over the next 10 years in hospital and health care infrastructure supporting more than 50 major hospital projects that would add 3,000 new beds over 10 years.
- Making historic investments in hospitals with an additional $3.3 billion in 2022-23, bringing the total additional investments in hospitals to $8.8 billion since 2018-19. The government is also investing $3.5 billion over three years to support the continuation of over 3,000 hospital beds put in place during the pandemic and $1.1 billion over three years to support the continuation of hundreds of new adult, pediatric and neonatal critical care beds added during COVID-19.
- Making additional investments in home care by planning to invest up to an additional $1 billion over the next three years. The government is also proposing a new, refundable Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit to help seniors aged 70 and older with eligible home care medical expenses to help people stay in their homes longer.