Toronto, ON October 30, 2003 The Ontario government says it is improving access to diagnostic equipment and treatment with a $63-million increase to upgrade and modernize medical equipment, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
“We are taking immediate steps to build and strengthen our public healthcare system today,” he says. “We are working cooperatively with our federal partner, so that modern and leading-edge medical equipment is available to give Ontarians the quality care they need.”
This funding is part of the federal diagnostic/medical equipment fund which provided $193 million to the Ontario government. Allocation of the remaining $130 million will be announced shortly, according to the government.
“We are pleased that the Ontario government is moving so quickly in allocating this funding,” said Federal Health Minister Anne McLellan. “This is the first installment of a three-year federal commitment to modernize and replace older equipment, improve patient access, safety, comfort and convenience, and improve working conditions for healthcare workers.”
The funding announced today includes:
– $20 million to Cancer Care Ontario and $9.5 million to the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Hospital to replace and upgrade radiation therapy equipment; and,
– $33.5 million in capital funding for diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical equipment.
Smitherman also announced that the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, an independent body of healthcare technology experts, would be consulted in the development of an overall equipment funding strategy including providing advice on criteria to assist hospitals in addressing equipment needs.