Tory to invest $8.5 billion in health funding

    TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory
today pledged to infuse Ontario's health care system with much needed funds,
while improving results for taxpayers.
    "When it comes to better planning for better health care, one thing
matters most: results. We must ensure that the funding is in place to achieve
these results," said Tory. "It all starts with a commitment to universal,
publicly funded health care - that is guaranteed to grow."
    Tory was in Toronto today to tour the Toronto East General Hospital.
Speaking outside the hospital, Tory said he will significantly increase health
care investments so that by the last year of a PC Government, annual funding
will be $8.5 billion more than it is today.
    Tory's plan ensures that there are resources available to serve our aging
population, our communities and our families. Key investments include:
      -  $540 million over four years to support the implementation of
         electronic health records;

      -  $400 million in new annual investments by 2011-2012 to recruit and
         retain doctors and nurses;

      -  $100 million for new investments in long-term care, including
         capital renewal and increased food allowances;

      -  $100 million for mental health initiatives with a focus on children
         and Aboriginal communities; and

      -  $100 million to accelerate improvements in home care services,
         allowing more people the dignity of staying in their own home while
         reducing the strain on our hospitals and long-term care facilities.

    Tory also committed that a PC government would provide additional growth
funding for communities where health care services are increasingly strained
because of a rapidly growing population.
    "Instead of empty promises and wasteful spending, we will invest more in
health care - to reduce wait times, improve service in underserved areas, and
ensure that more Ontarians have access to a family doctor. For a stronger
health care system, leadership matters."

    Aussi disponible en français

                     Backgrounder - Health Care Funding

    A John Tory government will provide significant annual increases in
funding for healthcare. By the fourth year of our mandate, total annual
funding will be $8.5 billion over 2007-08 levels.

                       John Tory Health Spending Plan
    Fiscal Year                  2007-08  2008-09  2009-10  2010-11  2011-12
    Health Spending ($ Billions)   $37.9    $39.8    $41.9    $44.0    $46.4
    Percentage Increase                      5.1%     5.1%     5.2%     5.4%
    Increase Over 2007-08                    $1.9     $4.0     $6.1     $8.5
    Note: Percentage increases may not add due to rounding

    -  This funding has been fully and transparently accommodated into the
       Ontario PC Party fiscal plan.

    -  Our plan reflects the research undertaken by the Ministry of Finance
       in its long-range report Toward 2025: Assessing Ontario's Long-Term
       Outlook. The report assumed that healthcare would grow on average by
       5.1 per cent annually during the 2005-06 to 2009-10 period, and
       5.8 per cent during the 2010-11 to 2014-15 period.

    -  As a reflection of this, we plan to gradually increase health care
       spending growth rates from 5.1% to 5.4% over the next four years.

    How will this funding be spent?

    -  One of the most important uses of these additional funds will be a
       $540 million cumulative new investment in electronic health records
       over four years to ensure that each Ontarian has a secure, private
       lifetime record of their patient history and care by 2014.

    -  Another area of major investment in the Ontario PC health care plan is
       $400 million in new annual investments by 2011-12 to retain and
       recruit doctors and nurses. This includes a comprehensive long-term
       physician recruitment strategy, deferral of loan payments for medical
       graduates during residency, strengthened support for nurses by
       implementing an 80/20 mentoring strategy and a commitment to 70 per
       cent full time employment for nurses.

    -  A John Tory government will target the growth in health care funding
       where it is needed most: to high-growth and underserved areas of our
       province; to long-term care and care for children; to reducing waiting
       lists; to modernize healthcare facilities; and to the goal of ensuring
       that every Ontarian has access to a family doctor.

    -  Annualized costs by 2011-12 for other new initiatives in the health
       sector include:

       -  $200 million for population needs-based funding;
       -  $100 million for new investments in long-term care, including
          capital renewal and increased food allowances;
       -  $100 million for mental health initiatives with a focus on children
          and Aboriginal communities;
       -  $100 million for home care service expansion and improvements;
       -  $50 million for chronic disease management programs such as pilot
          programs for nurse-led clinics; and
       -  $50 million to improve health care for children.
       -  We have prudently left a large envelope of $7.2 billion to allow
          for normal cost growth, capacity and utilization increases within
          the health sector, and to allocate to additional priorities.

    A John Tory government will improve healthcare in Ontario with a plan that
is guided by a strong commitment to universally accessible, publicly-funded
health care - with predictable funding that is guaranteed to grow.

    Dalton McGuinty's Health Care Record - High Taxes - Low Results

      -  More than one million people, including 130,000 children, with no
         family doctor
      -  Fewer than 1 in 10 family doctors accepting new patients (down from
         1 in 5 when Dalton McGuinty took office)
      -  More than 18,000 seniors in Ontario sitting on waiting lists for
         long-term care
      -  35,000 long-term care residents in substandard accommodations
      -  Emergency room waits in excess of 7 hours and 12 hours in Toronto
      -  Poor performance implementing new technologies in the healthcare
         system - with Ontario expected to rank last among all provinces in
         e-health initiatives by next spring
      -  8,300 children on waiting lists for children's mental health by the
         end of 2006 - 2,300 had been waiting more than 12 months.

    Aussi disponible en français


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Mike Van Soelen, Tel: (647) 722-1760

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