Kingston Health Sciences Centre gets $20 million in COVID, surgical funding

kINGSTON GENERAL

Kingston Health Sciences Centre has received about $20 million in provincial funding to help cover COVID-19 costs and clear a surgical backlog within its hospitals. 

The $18.7 million of funding was announced on Friday and will be used to fund roughly 147 extra beds at both Kingston General and Hotel Dieu Hospital.Of the new beds, up to 100 will be used for transitional care, 45 more hospital beds and two new ICU beds. 

The cash is also being used for MRI and CAT scan costs, as the tests and a number of elective surgeries have been delayed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An earlier announcement of $10 million for a new inpatient surgical unit at the Hotel Dieu Hospital site is also expected to help with the backlog. 

Nearly 500 surgeries have been delayed and health officials said it's important to get them completed as soon as possible. 

"Increasing our hospital capacity in this way directly relates, and is essential, to our ability to perform planned surgeries," Dr. David Pichora, KHSC's president and CEO said in a news release. 

"If we don’t have beds in which to care for patients after surgeries, non-emergency surgeries cannot be scheduled." 

Twelve more beds are expected to open in the new year for a total of 31 beds.

Renate Ilse, KHSC’s vice president of patient care, said in a statement that "opening over 40 surgical beds will enable us to improve patients’ access to surgical care, invest in our existing infrastructure, and provide opportunities for our health care professionals."