Hastings—Lennox and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp was at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Ont., Friday morning to announce almost $19 million dollars in new funding for Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC).
This $18,795,500 boost will be be used to fund and create 100 transitional beds, 45 additional hospital beds and two intensive care unit beds.
In addition, the province is has also allocated nearly $700,000 for MRI and CT scan costs to alleviate surgical backlog at KHSC hospitals.
Kramp says the announcement is about placing the regional health service provider, KHSC, in a position to meet the increasing demands caused by the pandemic.
“The reality is they are our regional core hospital — that’s all there is to it. This is a huge huge catchment area,” Kramp said.
Dr. David Pichora, president and CEO of KHSC, says a number of these newly announced beds will be coming on-line soon.
“We’re planning to open 19 of them in about two weeks and the remainder, we’ve got to do some more moves to get the remainder open. That will be early in the new year,” Pichora said.
When the pandemic was first declared, KHSC hospitals had to halt a number of services to maintain capacity in case of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
This has resulted in a $3.8-million deficit, halfway through the medical organization’s fiscal year.
Pichora says that created a backlog of roughly 460 patients including scheduled surgeries that the medical centre is working to now catch up on.
“This additional capacity gives us more beds to make us a more resilient should there be another big surge, and obviously if there is, rather than doing an across the board shutdown, we would try to be more strategic about that,” Pichora added.
Part of supporting that increased capacity is staffing, Pichora says KHSC is currently still trying to fill 40 positions, some of which are nursing jobs.
— With files from Global News’ Alexandra Mazur