Minister of Health visits KHSC

News / Patient Care / Redevelopment
By John Pereira

Dr. Helena Jaczek tours KGH site and outlines investments in Kingston health care

For the second time this year, Kingston Health Sciences Centre hosted the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care as Dr. Helena Jaczek visited our KGH site on April 6. The Minister toured several areas of the hospital that are poised to be rebuilt as part of KHSC’s Phase 2 Redevelopment project, and spoke to staff about the organization’s numerous achievements since integration one year ago. 

Specifically, the Minister heard about efforts which resulted in KHSC having the most improved wait times in Ontario this past year, as well as the adoption of our Live Donor Kidney program, new EVT treatment for stroke patients and our achievement in becoming the first hospital in Canada to offer a new treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation.

Following the tour, the Minister held a media conference in the Watkins wing to speak about the Province’s recent investments in healthcare and their impact on Southeastern Ontario.

“As the province grows and ages, it is more important than ever to invest in our health care system so that we can provide the care that all people in Ontario deserve,” said Minister Jaczek. “The 2018 Budget will allow us to expand and improve services to everyone across the province.”

Those investments include support of the Phase 2 Redevelopment project to construct a new eight storey tower on Stuart Street. The facility will be the home for new operating rooms, emergency department, Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and Labour and Delivery suites. The Province also recently announced an additional $8.2 million of new funding for KHSC to deliver more cardiac care services, hip and knee replacement surgeries, cataract surgeries, MRI hours for high-risk patients, and support for the hospital’s busy emergency department.

“Healthcare is near and dear to the hearts of all Ontarians and we are happy to see the focus by the Provincial Government on this important issue in their most recent budget,” said KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora. “The additional funding that will be infused into the health-care sector in the 2018-19 fiscal year is good news for our patients and families as it will ensure we have the resources required to continue to provide high-quality specialized care to the residents of Southeastern Ontario.”

In our region, the budget will also improve home and community care services with an estimated 123,000 more hours of personal support available to those who need it. Expansion to the OHIP+ program will also support 29,223 seniors in Kingston will no longer have to pay a deductible or co-payment for prescription medications.

"Individuals and families in Kingston, the Islands and across the province should be able to access affordable health services when they need them. With the expansion of programs like OHIP+, and incoming supports through the Ontario Drug and Dental program, we are working to make life more affordable and access to care easier for individuals today and in the future,” said Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala.

“I would like to thank MPP Kiwala, the Provincial Government, Minister Jaczek and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for their continued support of Kingston Health Sciences Centre,” said Dr. Pichora. “Investments such as these will ensure that patients and families in our region will continue to have access to the highest-quality health care for generations to come.”