Ontario government commits over $300m towards cutting surgery and medical procedure wait times

Many procedures and non-essential surgeries were cancelled during pandemic

Queen’s Park has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to help the province cut back surgical wait times across Ontario.

The Ontario Government announced on Wednesday it is putting $324 million towards hospitals and the community health sector, to allow them to perform more surgeries, MRI scans, and CT procedures. This includes conducting these on evenings and weekends. It is expected Ontario’s health care system will be able to perform an additional 67,000 surgeries and see up to 135,000 more diagnostic imaging hours.

“Ontario’s hospitals have been unwavering in their commitment to provide 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,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “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.”

In order to ensure the healthcare sector was able to deal with the increased demand brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the province ordered all non-essential surgeries and procedures to be suspended in April 2021. Despite this, over 465,000 urgent procedures took place.

On Wednesday, Public Health Ontario reported 158 new cases of COVID-19, along with 171 more recoveries and 4 additional deaths. There were 94,116 vaccines administered across the province yesterday, and 20,527 tests were processed.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 6 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. There were also 4 additional recoveries and no new deaths. To date, 68.6% of Simcoe-Muskokans 18+ have gotten their first shot, 54.7% their second.