Province investing $324 million to reduce wait times for surgeries and medical procedures delayed due to pandemic

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Published July 28, 2021 at 5:33 pm

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In order to ensure those who have had medical procedures delayed or postponed, the Province is launching the Ministry of Health’s surgical recovery plan.

As part of this framework, the Province will be investing $324 million to increase the number of surgeries, procedures, and diagnostic imaging appointments hospitals and community health systems can provide.

Over the course of the pandemic, in order to preserve hospital resources for COVID-19 patients, many hospital procedures deemed non-essential have had to be postponed or cancelled, creating a backlog that is estimated to take years to get through.

In order to ensure Ontarians are able to receive the care they need in a timely manner, this funding will be used to allow hospitals and community health systems to operate at 110 to 115 per cent capacity.

Of this funding, $216 million will go towards providing additional operating rooms, which will result in an additional 67,000 surgeries becoming available.

Additionally, $35 million will go towards adding 135,000 diagnostic imaging hours, and $18 million will go towards implementing a centralized surgical waitlist management system to streamline the process for those waiting for treatment.

“Ontario’s hospitals have been unwavering in their commitment to providing exceptional care to Ontarians. While the pandemic has been challenging for hospitals, we have made significant progress in addressing wait times for surgeries and other procedures and are in a much better situation than was expected mere months ago,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a news release.

“As Ontario continues on the path to reopening and recovery, our government is committed to improving access and reducing wait times for scheduled surgeries and procedures across the province,” she continued. 

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