Ontario delivers 2021 Budget with focus on health
March 25, 2021 — Yesterday, the Ontario government delivered the province’s second pandemic budget, which focuses on protecting people’s health and the economy. The 2021 Budget brings the province’s total investments in health care since the start of the pandemic to $16.3 billion. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes the commitments to defeat COVID-19, address issues in the long-term care (LTC) sector, and provide better care for people and communities.
“CNA is pleased to see additional investments going to LTC to protect residents from COVID-19 and build new LTC beds, as well as new funding to support hospitals, which will help address surgical backlogs and create more hospital beds,” said CNA’s chief executive officer, Michael Villeneuve. “However, while we welcome new investments for LTC, CNA continues to urge the government to fast-track its four-year plan to increase the average direct daily care in long-term care homes. These residents need better care today, not four years from now,” said Villeneuve.
CNA is disappointed to not see new investments in the budget to enhance access to home- and community-based care. A great deal of LTC is home care, which shares many of the problems found in LTC homes. A good LTC system — in tandem with effective, well-organized community support and home care — will ease pressure on the acute-care system and eliminate many of the gaps in the continuum of care that too often result in previously independent seniors landing in the hospital or LTC.
The Ontario budget also pledges investments for mental health and for vulnerable populations. CNA is encouraged to see new investments dedicated to the mental health of Ontarians given many are struggling to get through the pandemic, especially health workers.
CNA was also pleased that Budget 2021 provides additional investments to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations, as well as to protect racially diverse communities that are disproportionally affected by COVID-19.
CNA will continue to work with the Ontario government to strengthen the health-care system.
About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.
For more information, please contact:
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association