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Region hospitals to get $13.6 million to help offset pandemic

Region of Waterloo

Hospitals in Waterloo Region are getting a funding boost of more than $13.6 million from the provincial government, a share of the $572 million that is being spent across the province to help reimburse hospitals for revenue lost during the pandemic.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital will receive $2,957,500 while St Mary’s General Hospital is getting $2,539,638. Grand River Hospital is getting the largest amount, $8,155,752, for a total of $13,652,890.

“The funds provided will help ensure financial stability and support to continue the high quality patient care that people need and deserve,” said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris during last Fridays’ announcement at St. Mary’s Hospital.

“We know that hospitals have felt the financial challenges of this pandemic not only through direct costs, but also through the loss of other forms of revenue.”

The pandemic saw hospitals lose revenue options such as parking, private room payments, retail services and concessions.

“With the recognition that hospital revenues streams are impacted by the pandemic, the funding will support the resumption of services,” said Trevor Clark, vice-president of finance and corporate services at Cambridge Hospital.

Ron Gagon, CEO of Grand River Hospital said that the financial impact of COVID at GRH was “north of $100 million.

“At  GRH we typically generate almost 15 per cent of our total revenue from sources outside of the ministry. That wasn’t possible as we responded to COVID-19,” Gagnon said.

Lee Fairclough, president of St. Mary’s, pointed to the pausing of surgeries and other services.

“[COVID-19] did also leave us with financial pressures. And so this announcement today, again, helps to keep hospitals whole, allows us to continue to deliver the care and to continue the recovery,” said Fairclough.

The hospital is increasing the number of surgeries being done is “up over 70 per cent,” she added.

“Having healthy people is important for a strong economy and resilient communities,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

“Additional investments and funding in healthcare and hospitals for our community will be critical going forward and in the future.”

“Ontario’s hospitals have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is using every tool at our disposal to ensure that they are supported,” said Minister of Health Christine Elliott in a release. “This funding will help ease the financial pressure on hospitals so that they can continue to provide high-quality care and ensure our health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario.”

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