In an initiative aimed at bolstering pediatric health care accessibility in Eastern Ontario, the provincial government is injecting more than $2.5 million into services catering to children and youth in Belleville, Kingston and the Thousand Islands region. This initiative is part of the government’s commitment to channelling $330 million annually into pediatric health services across various hospitals and community-based healthcare facilities throughout the province.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones said that the government is making “record investments” in the health and well-being of children.
“The pediatric funding provided to services in Belleville, Kingston and Brockville will have a tremendous impact on children and their families, ensuring they receive faster access to care when they need it,” Jones said.
The allocated funds, exceeding $2.5 million, will be distributed across key programs and services, benefiting institutions such as the KidsInclusive Centre for Child & Youth Development ($1.29 million); Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre ($799,000); Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s pediatric program ($431,000); and the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit ($73,000).
The funding aims to:
- Expand access to children’s rehabilitation services, encompassing speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy, at KidsInclusive Centre for Child & Youth Development, Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre, and the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit.
- Enhance access to psychosocial supports for children and youth battling cancer at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s pediatric oncology clinic, aiding them in coping with the challenges brought on by the illness.
- Augment staff numbers with specialized pediatric training, recruit new personnel, and procure specialized pediatric surgical equipment to accommodate the rising pediatric volumes at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
“This investment will make it easier and faster for young people in the region to connect to the care they need closer to home,” said Dawn Gallagher Murphy, parliamentary assistant to the minister of health.
The ongoing annual funding increment is poised to provide a stable foundation, ensuring hospitals and children’s rehabilitation providers in Belleville, Kingston, and the Thousand Islands region are well-equipped with the necessary personnel, resources and technology to enhance access to pediatric care and mitigate backlogs.
A media release from the government states that across Ontario, more than 100 high-priority initiatives are being implemented to facilitate prompt access for children and youth to emergency care, surgeries, ambulatory services, diagnostic imaging, and mental health services.
“Our government’s significant investment in pediatric care will reduce waitlists, improve access to clinical assessments, early intervention, and children’s rehabilitation services,” stated Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services.
“This means less time waiting for services, quicker recovery, and better quality of life for children and their families in Belleville, Kingston, the Thousand Islands region, and across the province.”
This article was first published by Quinteist.