Ontario Creates A 'Plan To Stay Open' For Future Pandemics & Here's What You Need To Know

The plan is part of the government's efforts to be better prepared for future health crises.

Premier Doug Ford speaks in Brampton.

Premier Doug Ford speaks in Brampton.

After two years of lockdowns, the province has unveiled a new plan that it hopes will allow Ontario to stay open during future health emergencies.

On March 29, Ford's government announced a new initiative called the Plan To Stay Open, described as the "next step" in an ongoing effort to build a stronger health system that is better equipped to respond to crises.

The effort will target three critical areas: expanding the province's health workforce, shoring-up domestic production of essential supplies, and building more hospital bed rental near me.

The latter issue will see the government invest $760 million to support the continued operation of over 3,100 beds. The government says this is equivalent to adding six large community hospitals to the province's health care system.

"The plan will provide people and businesses with more certainty by helping to keep the province open," a government news release reads.

A key part of the plan is the Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022, which aims to "monitor new health threats and protect the lives and livelihoods of Ontarians as the government moves forward with the safe and gradual re-opening of the province."

Part of the proposed legislation includes a plan to make a wage raise for personal support workers permanent.

"Since October 1, 2020, over 158,000 PSWs and DSWs providing publicly funded services in hospitals, long-term care, home and community care and social services have been receiving a wage enhancement of $3/hour or $2/hour. These would be made permanent," the government said.

Another element of the plan seeks to reimburse tuition for nurse graduates who commit to work in an underserved Ontario community.

Patrick John Gilson
Patrick John Gilson was a Creator with Narcity Media focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.