Ontario is putting a surgical recovery plan into action to enable the health system to operate at 110 to 115 per cent capacity.
The goal is to return hospitals to 100 per cent of pre-pandemic operations by this fall, increasing up to 115 per cent, as required and as capacity allows.
The plan will provide up to 67,000 additional surgeries and procedures as well as up to 135,000 more diagnostic imaging hours to address wait times for surgeries and procedures, improve
access to care and support the government’s commitment to end hallway health care.
This means that more surgeries and procedures will be performed, including on evenings and weekends.
Officials said the system will begin to realize the impact of increased output of surgeries between this October and next year’s Spring.
The first initiative focuses on enabling the hospital system to increase surgeries, procedures as well as diagnostic imaging hours output.
$216-million is going to extend operating room hours for additional surgeries, $35-million will go towards adding over 75,000 MRI hours and over 60,000 CT hours, $18-million will go to a centralized surgical waitlist management system, $1-million will focus on Surgical Smoothing Coaching and $30-million will go to the Surgical Innovation Fund.
The funds will cover up to 33,000 new cataract surgeries, 4,300 new orthopedic surgeries (e.g., hip replacement surgery) and 9,000 new pediatric surgeries
The second initiative provides up to $24-million to fund increased volumes of surgical and diagnostic services in independent health facilities (IHFs) as well as support the licensing of new IHFs for existing services.
This initiative aims to increase cataract surgery volumes, diagnostic imaging and supports surgical recovery.