Ontario Connecting Children and Youth in Peel and Halton Regions to Care Close to Home

$5.6 million boost in funding to expand pediatric services

February 05, 2024

MISSISSAUGA — Ontario is investing $5.6 million to increase access to pediatric services for children and youth in Peel and Halton regions so they have the care they need, when they need it, right in their own community. This is part of the Ontario 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 Peel and Halton regions will have a tremendous impact on children and their families, ensuring they receive faster access to care when they need it.”

The $5.6 million in additional funding will support programs and services at the ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development ($3.7 million), Halton Healthcare ($1.5 million), and Mississauga Health – Ontario Health Team ($400,000). The funding will be used to:

  • Increase access to children’s rehabilitation services, including speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy, as well as preschool speech and language programs at the ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development.
  • Expand access to mental health services and supports at Halton Healthcare’s Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital to connect children and youth struggling with an eating disorder to social workers, dieticians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and a pediatrician to help them re-establish consistent eating patterns through their individual care and recovery plans.
  • Expand Halton Healthcare’s Navigator Program, so it can provide more support to children and youth who are at risk of hospitalization or who are transitioning to home from the inpatient setting or the emergency department.
  • Increase the number of people who can be seen, triaged and cared for at Trillium Health Partners and Halton Healthcare, by expanding emergency department diversion clinics such as the Mississauga Pediatric Care Clinic that connect people to care in the right place instead of going to emergency departments.

“Our government is continuing to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province have quick and convenient access to high-quality and convenient care, closer to home,” said Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. “This investment in Peel and Halton regions will make it easier and faster for young people and their families to connect to the care they need for years to come.”

This consistent and stable annual funding increase will ensure hospitals and children’s rehabilitation providers in Peel and Halton regions 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 Peel and Halton regions 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.