Canada’s Ontario Government has entered a C$3.1bn ($2.3bn) agreement with the federal government to bolster healthcare services in the province.  

The agreement, signed between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, will expand access to family doctors, reduce wait times, and recruit additional healthcare workers. 

As part of the agreement, Ontario will advance its ‘Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care’ initiative and form new primary care teams to connect more individuals with family doctors.  

With an expanded team of healthcare professionals, including practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers, the aim is to provide families with timely and quality primary care. 

Additionally, the move aims to address backlogs in surgeries and emergency room wait times, improving care for patients without a family doctor, particularly in rural, remote, and underserved areas.  

To bolster the healthcare workforce, over 700 additional enrolment spots will be created in healthcare education programmes, which includes more than 70 in northern Ontario.  

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The agreement is aimed at further streamlining the process for Canadian and internationally trained doctors and health professionals to practice in Ontario, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and allowing them to dedicate more time to patient care.  

Ford added: “This new ten-year agreement will help support our ongoing work in Ontario to connect more people to convenient care close to home.”  

Ontario also plans to modernise its digital infrastructure, by enhancing health information management and sharing as well as by increasing the availability of electronic health data and the number of professionals who can securely access and share this information.  

Another key component of the investment is the introduction of five new Youth Wellness Hubs, adding to the existing 22, to expedite access to mental health and substance use services for youth in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. 

The province will also expand its Structured Psychotherapy Program.  

The latest investment is part of the Government of Canada’s broader initiative to inject over C$200bn into healthcare improvements. 

It includes funding through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories such as a recent C$355m agreement with Nova Scotia