Provided by MPP Jim McDonell
Funding will support the ramp up of surgical and diagnostic care for patients
May 3, 2022
(CORNWALL) – As part of its plan to stay open, the Ontario government is investing 865,477 to support seven surgical innovation fund projects in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. This funding is part of the government’s expanded $ 86.2 million Surgical Innovation Fund that will support 187 projects that will provide hospitals across the province with the flexibility they need to perform more surgeries and procedures as they continue to ramp up non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries. .
Locally this funding will support the following projects at the Cornwall Community Hospital: Improvement Initiative – Urology Flexible Cystoscopes, 329,630; Surgical Procedure Recovery, 321,583; Post Recovery Initiatives, 88,150; Cost Reduction Initiative, 30,000; Pre-Op Clinic Space Expansion, 18,275; and Ambulatory Clinic Realignment, 7,000.
Also, Winchester District Memorial Hospital is receiving 70,839 for Pulmonary Function Testing.
“This investment will enable more hospitals to move forward with their innovative projects, while building a health care system that delivers the high-quality care patients need and deserve,” said MPP McDonell.
In June 2021 as part of Ontario’s comprehensive surgical recovery plan, the government announced a new $ 30 million Surgical Innovation Fund to help hospitals and health system partners address barriers to surgeries and procedures that cannot be addressed by other funding streams. To further support surgical recovery as hospitals continue to ramp up surgeries and procedures, the government has expanded the fund by an additional $ 56.2 million, for a total of $ 86.2 million.
Over 200 proposals were submitted for review by hospitals across the province, and 187 projects were approved. These projects focus on training of nurses and allied health staff, purchasing and upgrading diagnostic imaging technology and operating room equipment, and completing small capital projects. Projects include:
- 27 new nurse training programs resulting in up to 600 operating rooms and post anesthesia care unit nurses trained;
- 64 new diagnostic imaging professionals trained;
- 84 operating and procedure rooms upgraded with new equipment, including equipment for ophthalmology, orthopedic, plastic, cystoscopy, gynecology, endoscopy, bariatric, hernia, neurological and pediatric surgeries;
- 40 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) software upgrades, 20 new ultrasound machines, 10 new C-Arm x-ray intensifiers, seven new surgical microscopes; and
- Eight spaces renovated overall to increase throughput and efficiency, including operating rooms and related support spaces.
“Ontario’s hospitals have been unwavering in their dedication to protect the health and safety of Ontarians and we cannot thank them enough for their incredible efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to build a stronger, more resilient health care system, these innovative projects will help hospitals ramp up surgical capacity and ensure that Ontarians have access to high-quality care.”
Thanks to targeted government initiatives, over 465,000 scheduled surgeries took place in main operating rooms in Ontario’s hospitals in 2020-2021, which is approximately 70 per cent of competing pre-pandemic surgeries. Throughout the pandemic, the government took action to preserve access to urgent surgeries, and as a result, 99.3 per cent of the most urgent patient surgeries were completed and 76 per cent of patients who were waiting for required surgery between March 1, 2020 and March. 1, 2021 have received the care they need.
In addition, with the government’s support, hospitals were also able to perform MRI and CT scans consistently at over 100% of their pre-pandemic output in 2021-22 and reduced wait times to lower than pre-pandemic levels by December 2021.
Building on these accomplishments, the Surgical Innovation Fund projects will add future capacity to provide an estimated 49,600 additional surgeries and procedures, and up to 106,375 additional MRI and CT scans across Ontario. As part of the province’s broader surgical recovery plan, the Ontario government is investing up to $ 324 million to enable the health care system to provide thousands of additional surgeries and procedures as well as up to 270,000 more diagnostic imaging hours.
The government will continue to work with Ontario Health and its health system partners to closely monitor both surgical output in hospitals and patient wait times to ensure patients and their families have access to the high-quality care they need.
- Surgical Innovation Fund projects were approved based on a set of guidelines, including impact on increased surgical and procedural capacity, alignment with surgical recovery priorities such as local wait times, health human resources pressures and need for new equipment, and long-term utility to create lasting impacts for sustained surgical output increases in communities.
- To further support the high-quality care provided by Ontario’s hospitals, the government is providing an additional $ 827 million to hospitals across the province, representing a four per cent increase from last year. This will ensure all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum two per cent increase to their budgets to help them better meet patient needs, while building a stronger, more resilient health care system.
- To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario’s investments over the next 10 years will lead to $ 40 billion in health infrastructure across the province. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities, and renew existing hospitals and community health centers.