The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance will receive a $4.2-million boost from the provincial funding.
In largely already-announced funding, the Ford government is spending about $5.7 million to support three southwestern hospital networks. Aside from the CKHA, Four Counties Health Services, and the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital will benefit from the funding.
Provincial officials said the cash is to help deliver faster, more convenient access to care closer to patients’ homes.
Aaron Ryan, vice-president of performance and chief financial officer for CKHA, said the details of the funding had not been previously announced, as it was part of the budget commitment by the province to health care.
“The majority of it, $3.85 million, is basically a three-per-cent base funding increase. It will help pay for our base operations,” he said of the $4.2-million. “We’ve been encountering inflational and operational increases.”
But the other $320,000 will go towards quality-based procedures, Ryan said.
“It’s additional hip and knee replacement funding, stroke funding and chronic disease funding for such ailments as COPD, congestive heart failure and pneumonia,” he said.
Ryan added the cash is a message from the province that they support the work the orthopedic surgeons have done, as well as how the CKHA has recovered post-COVID in terms of surgery volumes.
The base funding increases will be utilized at the Chatham and Wallaceburg hospitals, Ryan said, whereas the surgical cash heads to Chatham, where the joint-replacement surgeries take place.
“Community hospitals are the bedrock of southwestern Ontario,” said local MPP Monte McNaughton in a media release. “From emergency rooms to surgeries and mental health support, this investment will ensure families have access to fast and reliable healthcare, where and when they need it.”
“We definitely appreciate the support of the government and the continued investment in the CKHA,” Ryan said.
On top of the CKHA funding, Four Counties will receive $201,000, while Strathroy Middlesex is to get $1.14 million.