Ontario has $4 billion more for healthcare than needed for current programs: FAO

Toronto–Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says the province has $4.4 billion more allocated to healthcare than what’s needed to fund current programs and commitments made until 2026.

The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario says the excess money could be used for new programs, enhancing old programs or using it to pay down the province’s debt.

Last year, the FAO had estimated a $10 billion shortfall over the same period.

It says the change is due to more than $15 billion in new healthcare funding in the province’s recent budget.

In a special report in March, the FAO said the province was projected to be short 33,000 nurses and personal support workers by 2028.

The province and the federal government recently agreed to a healthcare deal that would see more than $8 billion flow to Ontario, which the province said it would use to help hire more nurses and healthcare workers.

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