Government of Ontario provides $30 million funding boost for pediatric care in Hamilton

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Ontario’s $30 million funding infusion to Hamilton’s pediatric health services aims to improve access, reduce wait times, and introduce advanced technologies while addressing mounting pressures in hospitals as the winter season approaches. Photo Credit: Wikipedia


The Government of Ontario announced a $30 million funding boost to expand pediatric health services in the Hamilton region to “connect children and youth to more convenient and high-quality care closer to home.”

The funding is part of the government’s additional investment of $330 million annually for pediatric facilities across Ontario.

The $30 million allocated to the Hamilton region will go towards programs and services at McMaster Children’s Hospital, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

The money will be used for a number of different initiatives.

Those include hiring more pediatric surgical staff, establishing new “life-saving technologies” like the tele-resuscitation program, and supporting emergency department diversion programs.

The province is also aiming to reduce wait times and, increase access to specialized psychological and mental health support for children with cancer and eating disorders and increase access to children’s rehabilitation services in Hamilton.

At West Lincoln Memorial Hospital specifically, the funds will increase access to pregnancy and childbirth services and connect rural families to enhanced postpartum care.

Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services for the province, says the funding “will reduce waitlists and improve access to clinical assessments, early intervention, and children’s rehabilitation services, such as speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.”

Bruce Squires, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital, echoed Parsa by noting the wide-ranging impact the funding will have.

“This remarkable support is closing many of the critical gaps within the pediatric system. Our skilled healthcare professionals will now be supported so we can reduce wait times and improve access across the spectrum of kids’ care. It’s a huge step forward in ensuring that every child can get the care that they need,” said Squires in a press release.

Hamilton’s two government Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) also commented on the funding.

Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, said that the investment will “help ensure that we are doing everything we can to take care of Hamilton’s most precious and vulnerable people: our children.”

Meanwhile, Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook, added that the investment will “help ensure Hamilton families can continue to connect to world-class care in our community for years to come.”

The funding also comes at a critical time.

In the latest Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) update on hospital capacity, the healthcare provider says that “all HHS sites, including our emergency departments, continue to be under significant pressure.”

In a statement, McMaster Children’s Hospital Emergency Department physician Dr. Nathalie Schindler largely attributed the increased pressure to the upcoming winter season.

“Our children’s emergency department is getting busier than usual,” she said.

“Every fall and winter, we see a rise in emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses. We’re seeing a lot more children with cough, fever, and trouble breathing,” Schindler concluded.

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