Health Minister Christine Elliott is walking back remarks made by Premier Doug Ford at the annual premiers’ conference last week, promising “hallway health care” would be a relic of the past by this time next year.

“I can’t put a specific time line on it,” Elliott said Monday as she faced questions about the comments by her boss that left critics skeptical. “The premier was really expressing that we’re trying to do it as quickly as possible.”

Overcrowding in the health-care system that leads to patients being treated in hallways involves everything from the need for more nursing home beds to improved mental health and addictions treatment in communities and better management of chronic diseases to help keep patients out of hospitals, added Elliott.

“We’re working on many fronts to try and reduce the number of people who receive care in hallways,” she told reporters at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she announced an extra $1.4 million in funding for 72 patients to receive a new treatment for tremors.

“The premier understands, he knows very well, as well as I do, that this is going to take a long term.”