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London politician pleads for the province to save Cardiac Fitness Institute

NDP Education Critic Peggy Sattler.
NDP Education Critic Peggy Sattler. Ontario Legislature, Queen's Park

The battle over London’s Cardiac Fitness Institute (CFI) continues as a local politician tried once again to get the province to step in to save it.

During Wednesday’s question period at Queen’s Park, London West New Democrat MPP Peggy Sattler once again called on the government to step in and provide funding to continue the work of the Cardiac Fitness Institute at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The program is set to close this month with the LHSC saying it can’t foot the bill to run it anymore.

The LHSC told patients late last year the program would close and they would be transferred to the six-month cardiac rehab program at St. Joseph’s Health Care this month.

READ MORE: Patients plead to keep LHSC’s Cardiac Fitness Institute open

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Sattler said there has been evidence to show ongoing care like the kind provided by the CFI helps patients.

“A recent Ontario student says that the more cardiac rehab care that patients receive after a cardiac incident, the longer they live,” said Sattler.

“The study was about Healthy Hearts, a cardiac care program in Goderich that was modelled after the CFI.”

READ MORE: London MPP raising concerns about overcrowding in Ontario hospitals

Health Minister Helena Jaczek pointed out the Goderich program is run through the YMCA, not a hospital, and patients contribute to its funding.

“It’s run by the YMCA, a much more appropriate setting than an acute care hospital, and this is something that is funded on an ongoing basis not by the government, but by the participants in the program.”

Jaczek also noted the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association recommend three months of cardiac rehab and Ontario currently provides up to six months.