The Ontario government is providing Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) with over $3.3 million in operating funding as part of Ontario’s Action Plan to respond to COVID-19 and reduce surgical backlogs.
“As part of our plan to end hallway health care and address the challenges created by COVID-19, I am proud to announce a further investment to support high-quality health care for the members of our communities across Simcoe North,” said Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, who made the announcement Tuesday morning outside OSMH in front of 25 hospital staff and community members.
Dunlop noted the funding represents a 3.2 percent increase in annual funding for OSMH.
“By increasing investments in our local hospitals, Ontario is helping to ensure patients have access to the high-quality care they need and deserve when and where they need it,” she said.
“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that our hospitals have been crucial to keeping our community safe. The staff and administration at the hospital here (in Orillia) have been no exception.”
OSMH President and CEO Carmine Stumpo says the funding will help the hospital emerge from the pandemic as they look forward to the enormous task of recovery.
“We have all of our regular work and perhaps even more work when we realize the impact that the COVID pandemic has had on our overall health,” he said.
“We have a large backlog of deferred care, hundreds of procedures and surgeries cancelled, we see our community growing more than ever, new developments, and in seasonal visitors now becoming permanent residents," he explained.
Stumpo says the province's funding boost will help speed up wait times for surgeries and procedures not only following the pandemic but also long into the future.
“The base funding of over $3.3 million acknowledges our new normal of higher growth and higher acuity of patients that we care for,” he said.
“There is additional funding for surgical volumes, addressing some of the historical inequities for access to surgical care that are a part of medium-sized hospitals.”
Stumpo thanked Dunlop and the provincial government.
“Minister Dunlop has been a great advocate for medium-sized hospitals and in particular OSMH, continuing to serve our community with passion and excellence,” he said.
The province’s 2021 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy, outlined a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments for hospitals in 2021-22, including an increase of $778 million in operating funding to meet current and future demands for services.
-- With files from Nikki Cole.