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Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliot responds to a question during a press conference at Queen's Park on Sept. 1, 2021.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

The Progressive Conservative government is announcing, days before its budget and shortly before an expected election call, that it is planning to invest an additional $1 billion in home care over three years.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says it will ensure Ontarians can receive the care they need in the comfort of their own home and will alleviate pressure on hospitals.

The Ontario Hospital Association says that as of mid-January, there were a record 5,800 alternate-level-of-care patients in hospitals – people who could be cared for in a different setting such as home care or long-term care.

The government says the investment would build on the $548.5 million over three years that was announced in last year’s fall economic update.

The province spent $4.5 billion on home and community care services in 2021-22.

Home Care Ontario told the government in its prebudget submission that the sector needs an immediate investment of $460 million to help stabilize it and address wage inequities.

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