News


Improving Access to Care Closer to Home in Thunder Bay

2017 Budget Commits New Investments for Northern Patients

Ontario is helping people in Thunder Bay access surgeries, MRIs and other health care services closer to home with shorter wait times. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre today to announce that the hospital is receiving an additional $4 million as part of the 2017 provincial budget, to provide more local services, including: 

  • 223 new MRI hours
  • 36 more cataract surgeries
  • 45 additional hip and knee replacement surgeries. 

Minister Hoskins also announced a $10-million expansion of the Northern Health Travel Grant Program, which helps people in northern Ontario cover their travel costs for services or procedures that are not available in their local communities. Ontario is additionally providing a planning grant of $500,000 to help Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre plan for the provision of cardiovascular surgical services, ensuring that patients in the city and region continue to have access to these high-quality health procedures. He was also on hand to celebrate the completion of the first endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) procedure at the hospital — an exciting milestone that will give people in Thunder Bay access to quality cardiovascular care, closer than ever before. Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare – protecting health care today and into the future.

QUOTES 

“Through our increased investment in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, our investment in the Northern Health Travel Grant Program, and our investment in cardiovascular services, we are improving access to care, reducing wait times, and improving the experience of patients in northwestern Ontario. These are just part of our commitment to patients in northern Ontario communities to provide faster access to the right care, closer to home.”

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care 

“Providing local vascular surgical services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is very welcome news for patients in our region. I am proud of our government’s commitment to improving cardiovascular services and I’m looking forward to our long term goal of providing full cardiovascular surgery here in Thunder Bay, building upon the establishment of local angioplasty services in 2009.”

— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan 

“We are committed to meeting the unique and challenging health care needs of our population. The additional support and funding announced today will have a significant impact on our ability to provide increased access to quality care, at the right time, and closer to home. We are thankful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for this much needed investment that will improve the overall experience of our patients and their families in Northwestern Ontario.”

— Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 

QUICK FACTS 

  • The $4 million investment in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is part of a $518 million investment, which is helping hospitals across the province provide faster access to health care, expand crucial services and procedures, and improve the experience of patients.
  • Each of Ontario’s 145 public hospitals is receiving a minimum 2 per cent increase in funding in 2017-18.
  • Hospital operating funding in Ontario has increased more than 58 per cent, from $11.3 billion in 2003-04 to almost $18 billion in 2017-18.
  • Ontario’s health care budget in 2017-18 is $53.8 billion — a 3.8 per cent increase from the previous year.
  • The new investment of $10 million in the Northern Health Travel Grant Program is in addition to existing funding, bringing the annual total to $14 million.
  • Ontario's total planned investment in hospital infrastructure will be more than $20 billion over the next 10 years. About 34 hospital projects are now underway across the province.
  • A planning grant provides resources for hospitals to work with their Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure a project is of appropriate scope and scale.
  • On June 25, 2015, Minister Hoskins announced support for a joint proposal between the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and the University Health Network to establish a corridor of cardiovascular services.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supported a phased implementation, starting with the vascular surgery program.

 

LEARN MORE

 

2017 Ontario Budget

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

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