Throughout its response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has been in regular contact with provinces and territories to assess the needs of regions hardest hit by the pandemic’s resurgence and to provide support that will help protect the health and safety of Canadians.
Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Honourable Anita Anand, and the Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, confirmed that the Government of Canada will deploy two federal Mobile Health Units (MHU) to Ontario, in response to a provincial request for assistance.
The MHUs will relieve pressure on Ontario’s strained hospital capacity due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the province. MHUs are just one of the services offered under the COVID-19 Federal Rapid Surge Capacity – a means for provinces and territories to access equipment and resources, when they need it most.
The two MHUs are scheduled to be deployed to the Greater Toronto Area as rapidly as possible. These units will be available to Ontario until May 1, 2021, depending on COVID-19 case load and ICU capacity in the province.
The MHUs will provide additional hospital beds and facilitate the transfer of non-critical care patients out of critical care to ensure those specialized resources are available for those who need it most. Each MHU has the capacity to include 100 hospital beds. The units will be staffed by the province.
“Fighting the pandemic is our top priority. Along with my colleagues, I’m pleased to announce the deployment of two federal Mobile Health Units to the Province of Ontario to assist hospitals in the Greater Toronto area which has seen an alarming resurgence in COVID-19 cases.”
– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Government of Canada purchased these Mobile Health Units as part of our overall preparedness plan to help protect the health and safety of Canadians. We will continue to collaborate with the provinces and territories to ensure they have the equipment and supplies needed to carry on the fight against COVID-19.”
– The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada
“As we continue to battle COVID-19, we are providing these Mobile Health Units in Ontario to relieve pressure on health care workers and help patients. We will continue to be there to support provinces and territories to help Canadians and communities across the country get through this difficult time.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
“Our government is using every tool at our disposal to support our hospitals as they respond to COVID-19. As Ontario continues to add more hospital beds and build capacity in our health care system, these new mobile health units will further help us alleviate the strain on our hospitals and intensive care units. We will continue to work with the federal government and our health care partners to support our hospitals and care for patients affected by this deadly virus.”
-The Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health
“Our government continues to prepare, plan and take the actions needed to best protect Ontarians and keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the support of two mobile health units that can be put into full operation. As we work to help our health care system manage its capacity challenges, we continue to urge everyone to follow public health guidelines and stay home, stay safe and save lives.”
– The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario
To prepare for possible COVID-19 case surges, in April 2020, Public Services and Procurement Canada established contracts with Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. and SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc. to design, manage and deploy Mobile Health Units, as required.
The two units being deployed are being provided by Weatherhaven Global Resources. These units were tested in a pre-deployment exercise in Brockville, ON in December 2020.