Ontario Investing $16 Million To Improve Care In Emergency Rooms

News from the Government of Ontario

Posted August 19th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – Ontario is providing more than $16 million to help patients receive quicker access to care in hospital emergency rooms across the province.emergency room

The province will provide funding to 20 municipalities across Ontario for 300,000 dedicated emergency room nursing hours at 49 hospitals this year.

Dedicated nurses will work exclusively on receiving low-acuity patients from ambulances, which will allow paramedics to respond to other 9-1-1 calls in the community rather than waiting in the emergency room.  Patients arriving at hospitals by ambulance with life-threatening conditions continue to be given priority by hospital staff.

Municipalities who have received funding for these dedicated emergency room nurses have already reported seeing improvements in delays and emergency room wait times.

Investing in this initiative is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy, and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.


  • The dedicated offload nurses initiative was created in 2008-2009 to reduce ambulance offload times by providing municipalities with funding for dedicated nurses to offload patients in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Ontario’s health care budget has increased from $47.6 billion in 2012-13 to a total of $51.8 billion in 2016-17.
  • This year’s $51.8 billion investment in health care is a 2.1 per cent increase over last year – greater than the rate of inflation.


“I’m pleased that we can continue to invest in this initiative at hospitals across the province. Making these comprehensive investments ensures that the most effective practices are in place so we can continue to put the needs of our patients first. Thanks to the hard work of these dedicated emergency room nurses, we have seen a reduction in ambulance offload delays at hospitals.”  — John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

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One response to “Ontario Investing $16 Million To Improve Care In Emergency Rooms

  1. This may save time for paramedics in off loading, freeing them up for other emergencies, but will not speed up the seeing of patients by doctors. Long waits will continue in that respect.

    The back log will remain, only it will be on a stretcher in a hallway attended by a nurse (maybe, depending on the number assigned) rather than by paramedic crews. Nurses may take the initiative to ask the attending ER physician for the OK to perform lab tests, Xrays, EKG’s, start IV’s, etc., before the doctor sees the patient but most do that already so that point is moot.

    Another move by people who don’t know their posterior from a hole in the ground. While of benefit to the ambulance services, it is strictly cosmetic from the patient wait time standpoint.


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