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Ontario government announces $85 million for Waterloo Region hospitals

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After announcing $15 million for Guelph General Hospital’s new emergency department on Monday, the Ontario government says it is providing another $85 million to three hospitals in Waterloo Region.

Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris made the announcement on Tuesday that will mean Cambridge Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital receiving millions of dollars.

Read more: Ontario government announces $15 million for Guelph hospital’s emergency department expansion

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our local hospitals have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care to patients and families across Waterloo Region,” Harris said in a news release.

“I am extremely pleased that the province has identified and responded to the growing healthcare needs within the region.”

Each hospital will receive a boost to its operating funding this fiscal year with Cambridge receiving an additional $6.8 million, St. Mary’s receiving an extra $8.1 million and Grand River receiving another $7.5 million.

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The second part of the announcement will mean nearly $81.6 million is spread across the three hospitals to add 217 new patient beds.

Just over $11.2 million is going to Cambridge Memorial for 22 beds, $49.4 million to Grand River for 154 new beds and nearly $21 million to St. Mary’s for 41 new beds.

The final part of the announcement is $3 million for certain projects the hospitals are working on, such as endoscopy expansion at Grand River and more space for same-day surgery at Cambridge Memorial.

“This funding is so important to sustain the vital health care resources and services that we have put in place, and are essential to support the increasing care needs of our growing community and the related pressures felt by our care teams,” Grand River Hospital president and CEO Ron Gagnon said in a statement.

“We thank the Ontario government for this investment in Grand River Hospital and our partners in health care. This will help to enable the world-class care that patients and families across our health system deserve.”

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The funding announcement came just a few hours before Premier Doug Ford was set to meet with Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell to dissolve provincial parliament ahead of a June 2 election.

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Harris is seeking re-election in Kitchener-Conestoga and is up against the Liberal’s Melanie Van Alphen, Karen Meissner of the NDP, Green Party candidate Nasir Abdulle and New Blue Party Leader Jim Karahalios.

Polls at this point suggest the Progressive Conservatives are poised for re-election, with the third-place Liberals potentially overtaking the NDP to form the official Opposition.

With files from The Canadian Press

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