Ontario’s government is putting $11 million more than planned into home and community care this year in a bid to lower the number of patients being treated in the hallways of overcrowded hospitals, says Health Minister Christine Elliott.

The money is on top of $144 million announced in the spring budget and includes $45 million aimed at “high need” areas where problems are most severe, Elliott said Wednesday.

“To end hallway health care we must build capacity in the system,” she added at the Hillcrest Reactivation Centre near Bathurst St. and Davenport Rd., a part of the University Health Network that helps clients who have been in hospitals and rehab centres get ready to return to their homes.

The additional cash will allow for 1.8 million more hours of personal support services and another 490,000 nursing visits along with more homemaking and meal services and supports for caregivers.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has promised to eliminate hallway health care, which takes place because there are not enough beds in hospitals to move acute-care patients out of emergency departments. The problem emanates from thousands of patients in hospitals who are no longer in need of acute care but have nowhere else to go, such as nursing homes, where there are waiting lists.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics.