On April 28, 2022, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party tabled their 2022 budget. The Lieutenant Governor has dissolved the Legislature and the 2022 Provincial election has officially commenced. This means the Progressive Conservative 2022 budget will not be debated until after the election but will be a topic of interest through the election campaign.
Highlights of the budget related to health care include:
- Starting in spring 2023, the government will launch the new Learn and Stay Grant for up to 2,500 eligible postsecondary students who enroll in priority programs, such as nursing, and work in underserved communities in the region where they studied after graduation.
- To retain nurses across the health sector and stabilize the current nursing workforce, the government is investing $764 million over two years to provide Ontario’s nurses with a retention incentive of up to $5,000 per person.
- To build on the 8,600 health care workers added to the system since March 2020, the government is investing $230 million in 2022–23 to enhance existing programs so that hospitals and the health care system have the staff they need to support additional capacity.
- The government is investing $42.5 million over two years beginning in 2023–24 to support the expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training in the province.
- As of early April 2022, more than $77 million of the Ontario Together Fund’s allocation has been committed, leveraging almost $230 million in investments in building Ontario’s domestic capacity to manufacture Ontario‐made personal protective equipment and providing other solutions in response to COVID‐19 to build resilience in the health care sector.
- Ontario is embracing the opportunity to become a global hub for biomanufacturing and life sciences and making a strategic investment of $15 million over three years in a new Life Sciences Innovation Program to develop and scale up the commercial potential of therapeutics and medical and digital technologies — to name a few.
- The government is making additional investments in home care by planning to invest up to $1 billion over the next three years to improve quality of care and keep the people of Ontario in their homes longer.
- To help seniors aged 70 and older with eligible medical expenses, including expenses that support aging at home, the government is proposing a new, refundable Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit. In 2022, the new credit would provide an estimated $110 million in support to about 200,000 low‐to moderate‐income senior families.
- The government is investing more than $60 million over two years, starting in 2022–23, to continue expanding the Community Paramedicine for Long‐Term Care program to serve all eligible seniors across Ontario.
- The government is investing an additional $5.5 million in 2022–23 to extend the Ontario Community Support Program, which delivers meals, medicine and other essential items to low‐income seniors and people with disabilities.
- To further support Ontario’s first responders, the government is investing $56.8 million in 2022–23 to increase capacity in emergency health services in communities across Ontario.