$38.8 million provincial investment will deliver a new, state-of-the-art patient tower and expand services in Toronto
TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing $38.8 million to expand University Health Network (UHN), including $34 million for one of the largest planning grants in Ontario’s history for a new state-of-the-art patient tower at Toronto Western Hospital. This expansion will add more beds and increase operating room capacity to serve more families in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding communities as the province continues to build a stronger, more resilient health system that is better able to respond to crisis.
“Investing in a new patient tower at UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital is another way our government is building a stronger, more resilient health care system for all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will ensure patients have access to enhanced surgical services and can access high-quality care for generations to come.”
A new multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art patient tower will meet the growing needs of patients and families from across the province now and in the future by adding 20 new operating rooms, including three new image-guided operation rooms for complex neurosurgical and spinal procedures. With these new rooms, UHN will be able to increase its surgical capacity by over 20 per cent in the next 10 years to provide high-quality care to more patients.
The tower will also include several new units and departments, including a pre‐operative care unit, post-anaesthetic care unit, medical device reprocessing department and pharmacy, and enhance the mental health program to provide even better integrated care.
“This investment will bring the patient tower on the Toronto Western site to reality which will benefit patients and their families by providing a state-of-the art facility to enable the best care,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of University Health Network. “Our surgical teams deserve the best facilities so that they can provide the best care, research and education available anywhere in the world.”
The government’s investment also includes $4.8 million that will be used to plan multiple expansions at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre including a new 14-bed inpatient unit for their stem cell transplant program, expanding the Malignant Haematology Day Unit to provide outpatient care and expanding the ambulatory Malignant Haemotology clinics to create dedicated nurse-led initiatives such as telephone triage, drop in assessments and high-quality virtual care. These new beds and expansion of services will ensure that more patients have access to lifesaving cancer treatment when they need it.
“Every day we see the benefits of stem cell transplants for cancer patients. This investment gives us the opportunity to serve more patients with a life saving procedure – one which can cure and extend life,” said Dr. Keith Stewart, Vice President, Cancer Program at University Health Network. “The investment in the patient tower at Toronto Western is also an investment in cancer treatment as surgical treatment of brain tumours is one of the foci of the surgical team at Toronto Western.”
UHN is comprised of Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and The Michener Institute of Education. Toronto Western Hospital is a world leader in neuroscience and provides a breadth of services from emergency care to sophisticated brain surgery. The Princess Margaret sees over 1,000 patients every day.
Earlier this year, the government announced a $17.1 million investment to expand lifesaving cancer treatment and improve access to care at UHN. This funding included up to $5 million to plan for Canada’s first-ever hospital-based proton beam therapy facility, which will provide innovative lifesaving cancer treatment to patients.
To further support the high-quality care provided by Ontario’s hospitals, the government is providing an additional $827 million to hospitals across the province, representing a four per cent increase from last year. This will ensure all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum two per cent increase to their budgets to help them better meet patient needs, while building a stronger, more resilient health care system.
The Ontario government is increasing UHN’s operating funding for the fourth straight year. Last year, the hospital received over $24.8 million in additional operating funding, representing an increase of 2.3 per cent to the operating funding the hospital received the year before.
As part of the government’s over $1.2 billion investment to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19, UHN received over $20.5 million for 2020-21 lost revenue to provide financial stability and support continued high-quality patient care, and $24.1 million to help cover historic working funds deficits.
Last year, UHN received over $1.4 million in one-time surgical support funding to support surgical recovery and to operate on evenings and weekends. UHN also received $3.2 million to support over 3,500 additional CT operating hours and over 5,900 additional MRI operating hours.
As part of the government’s $760 million commitment in the 2021 Budget to support the continuation of over 3,100 hospital beds opened during the pandemic, University Health Network received funding for up to 100 acute beds and 12 critical care beds.
To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario’s investments over the next 10 years will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure across the province. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.