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Careers  |  (613) 345-4092

Over $2.5 million boost in funding to expand pediatric services

January 29, 2024
Ministry of Health

BELLEVILLE — The Ontario government is investing over $2.5 million to increase access to pediatric services for children and youth in Belleville, Kingston and the Thousand Islands region 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 Ontario.

“Our government is making record investments in the health and well-being of our children,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The pediatric funding provided to services in Belleville, Kingston and Brockville will have a tremendous impact on children and their families, ensuring they receive faster access to care when they need it.”

The over $2.5 million in additional funding will support programs and services at KidsInclusive Centre for Child & Youth Development ($1.29 million), Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre ($799,000), Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s pediatric program ($431,000) and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit ($73,000). The funding will be used to:

Increase access to children’s rehabilitation services, including speech-language pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, at KidsInclusive Centre for Child & Youth Development, Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.
Increase access to psychosocial supports for children and youth with cancer at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s pediatric oncology clinic, to help them better cope with the changes occurring in their life because of the illness.
Provide additional staff with specialized pediatric training, hire new staff, and purchase specialized pediatric surgical equipment to support increasing pediatric volumes at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
“Our government is taking action to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province have quick and convenient access to the care they need,” said Dawn Gallagher Murphy, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. “This investment will make it easier and faster for young people in the region to connect to the care they need closer to home.”

This consistent and stable annual funding increase will ensure hospitals and children’s rehabilitation providers in Belleville, Kingston and the Thousand Islands 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 Belleville, Kingston, the Thousand Islands 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. These services include speech-language pathology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy 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.
Families with questions about their child’s development and support needs can contact their local children’s treatment centre or Surrey Place in Toronto. 

Quotes
“There is no greater investment than cultivating the potential of children within our community. Quinte Health is thrilled with the government’s investment in the Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre and strengthening our ability to serve children, youth, and their families in the communities we serve. Our remarkable interprofessional team makes a vital impact on the well-being of our community’s youngest members and we are extremely proud to have them as an integral part of the Quinte Health family – creating healthier communities, together.”

– Stacey Daub
President and CEO, Quinte Health

“We are grateful for this funding which recognizes our role as a key pediatric facility in the Ontario health-care system. As southeastern Ontario’s provider of highly specialized care for young patients and families, this funding will support both acute pediatric inpatient and outpatient care, as well as rehab and long-term support through our KidsInclusive childhood development program. Specifically, the funding will be used to hire new staff, and begin new initiatives, all aimed at reducing wait-times and improving access for children and families from across our region.”

– Dr. David Pichora
President and CEO, Kingston Health Sciences Centre

“Our Preschool Speech and Language program, Language Express, is an important part of the network of supports for children in our region. Investment in early childhood development can have a lifetime effect. As Language Express’s clients have had increasingly complex needs and with the competitive health human resources landscape (including for speech language services), we are pleased that we will be receiving an approximately $73,000 annual increase. It will help us to make a difference in the health and well-being of children in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark region.”

– Dr. Linna Li
Medical Officer of Health and CEO, Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

“The Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the families it serves. Our government’s increased investments in early intervention and rehabilitation ensure it has the necessary resources to enhance specialized pediatric care in our community.”

– Todd Smith
MPP Bay of Quinte

“I am very pleased to see this funding announced for pediatric services like those available through the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit. These services provide important care to children and families across our community.”

– Steve Clark
MPP Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

“This significant investment in pediatric services is welcome news to many young patients and their families in my riding. This funding will help them get the exceptional care they need and expect. The children’s rehabilitation services offered through the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and KidsInclusive, as well as an increase in pediatric supports and staffing at Kingston General Hospital, will continue to deliver the highest quality of care, while meeting the growing needs of Kingston and surrounding communities.”

– John Jordan
MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

“When a child is sick, it significantly impacts the life of the family around them. This tremendous investment in pediatric care means more people will be able to support their child and get top notch care, closer to home.”

– Ric Bresee
MPP for Hastings—Lennox and Addington

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
Hannah.R.Jensen@ontario.ca

Anna Miller
Communications Branch
416-314-6197
media.moh@ontario.ca

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