Steady Improvements in Health and Education

2014 Progress Reports Show How Ontario is Making Everyday Life Better, while Building a Stronger Economy

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ontario is continuing to invest in public services to help people in their everyday lives, to build a strong workforce and to ensure families have the high-quality health care they need.  

The province released its Health Care and Education Progress Reports today, which outline the government's accomplishments since 2003 to drive change and improve the lives of people across the province.

Key accomplishments in health include:

  • Surgical wait times for cancer surgeries are now 24 days shorter compared to 2005.
  • In 2003, there were only eight publicly funded vaccines in Ontario. Today there are 21, including one for chickenpox.
  • Over the past decade, 23 new hospitals have been built or are underway.
  • Over two million more Ontarians have a family doctor today compared with 10 years ago.
  • There are over 20,000 more nurses at work across the province than there were in 2003.
  • Ontario has expanded physician house calls for house-bound seniors, benefitting nearly 100,000 people across the province.

Key accomplishments in education include:

  • Introduced full-day kindergarten; more than 184,000 children across the province are currently enrolled in full-day kindergarten, giving them a better start in school and preparing them for success in Grade 1 and beyond.
  • Nearly 650 new schools have been built or are planned or underway, and Ontario has supported more than 27,000 school renewal projects.
  • The Youth Employment Fund, which launched in September, has already placed more than 9,800 young people.
  • The Second Career program has helped more than 76,000 individuals retrain.
  • This school year, about 370,000 students -- over half of all full-time students -- received student financial aid, including the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant.
  • Ontario has increased child care funding by 90 per cent since 2003 and created an additional 107,400 licensed spaces at child care centres.

These improvements are helping people at every stage of their lives, creating opportunities for young people and ensuring seniors can get the care they need, when and where they need it. The province has some of the shortest wait times in the country. As well, Ontario is now recognized across Canada and around the globe as a leader in educational excellence.

Making smart investments in education and health care is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.