Provincial government announces major new investment in KHSC

Dr. David Pichora speaks on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, following MPP Daryl Kramp’s announcement of over $18M in new funding for KHSC. Photo: Samantha Butler-Hassan

The provincial government has announced major new funding for Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, annouced on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 that the Ontario Ministry of Health will provide $18,798,500 to KHSC to operate up to 100 additional transitional care beds, 45 additional hospital beds and two new ICU beds.

“I’m here today to recognize and thank KHSC, its doctors, staff and executives for their dedication to modernize and take the oldest enduring hospital and care sites in the province into the middle years of this century, and beyond,” Kramp said.

He addressed the media outside Hotel Dieu Hospital Friday morning, joined by KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora, Elizabeth Bardon, VP of Mission & Strategy Integration and Support Services, and several other local public health officials.

“I’m trying not to be speechless after Mr. Kramp’s announcement this morning,” said Dr. Pichora.

He said the additional capacity comes at a critical time, when KHSC is working to recover from a backlog of surgeries, post-poned during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, he said KHSC delayed 460 non-emergency surgeries. KHSC is also heading into what he called their busiest season of the year.

In a COVID-related initiative earlier this year, ministry inpatient registration was restored to KHSC’s Hotel Dieu Hospital site, Kramp said. More than $10 million of the over $18 million announced today will fund the HDH Surgical Unit on Johnson 3. Kramp said this will bolster KHSC capacity to sustain surgical activity during any upcoming COVID-19 surges.

Dr. Pichora also said he hopes that the expansion will help KHSC maintain strong operational levels in the months ahead, “no matter what may happen with a second wave.”

Over 40 new full and part-time positions are also being filled at this time, Dr. Pichora noted, to support the increased patient capacity.

In September, KHSC was advised they would receive $4.8 million in Health Infrastructure Renewal Funding to support upgrades and repairs in 2020 and 2021. Previously this year, KHSC received $7.9 million in additional funding to support hospital operations. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase from last year, and does not include separate COVID-19 funding.

Kramp said Kingston residents should appreciate the strong performance of KHSC and the Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health region during the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

“The entire community should be so grateful for what you have here,” he said. “Both on the administrative end and the medical end, on various levels. I thank them all for their successful efforts in keeping us healthy this year.”

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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