16 April 2020 – Ontario expands hospital capacity, including 2000 more acute and critical care beds

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Finance policy and financial aid; Financial aid to health services
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Minister of Health Christine Elliot

Overview: The Ontario government has significantly expanded hospital capacity to prepare for a widespread COVID-19 outbreak scenario. This action added 1035 acute care and 1492 critical care beds in addition to taking steps to ensure adequate hospital staffing in case of a sudden surge of patients. Measures include: redeployment of surgical nursing staff to medical units, sharing nursing staff across emergency and intensive care units, sharing physical resources across regional hospitals, recruiting family doctors to complete hospital shifts, and recruiting retirees.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-significantly-expands-hospital-capacity-to-prepare-for-any-covid-19-outbreak-scenario.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Perception of an increased threat
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health; health care professionals
Evidence/Justification: The action was advised by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, alongside other health care professionals. The province is carrying out this hospital capacity expansion in order to prepare for a worst-case scenario.