Ontario Building a Stronger, More Resilient Health Care System in Waterloo Region

Published on April 21, 2022

$5 million provincial investment will help expand services and add new hospital beds for local families.

KITCHENER — As part of its plan to stay open, the Ontario government is investing $5 million to modernize and expand Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital in the Region of Waterloo. The investment will support planning to redevelop the hospitals, add more patient beds and expand acute care programs. This will make it easier for families to access high-quality care as the province continues to build a stronger, more resilient health system that is better able to respond to crisis.

“Waterloo Region’s Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital provide world-class health care to nearly one million people. I am extremely pleased that the Ontario government is funding a plan to expand services and care for future generations," said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. "The planning stage is crucial to identifying the best strategy and areas for development. I am looking forward to reviewing the results as we work towards expanding access to health care for residents across the region.”

“Supporting plans to redevelop Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital is one more way our government is building a stronger, more resilient health care system and ending hallway health care,” said Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will connect health care in the region and ensure the hospitals will be able to meet the growing health care needs of families in the community.”

Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital provide care to more than 840,000 people in the Waterloo-Wellington area. As one of the fastest-growing areas in Ontario, the demand for health care has grown rapidly, making it critical that both hospitals also grow to meet the needs of the communities they serve.  

This redevelopment is planned to add new patient beds and expand much-needed clinical care programs and services, such as cancer care, cardiac care, the chest and thoracic program, surgery and medical imaging. In addition, ambulatory services such as outpatient surgery, urgent care, clinics, and diagnostic imaging will be enhanced. The project will enable the hospitals to seamlessly work together to create a more integrated and patient-centred health care system in the region.

Ontario is working with Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital on the early stages of the planning process, which include identifying programming, operational and space requirements and assessing how the project can further help address the health care needs of patients and families. As part of early planning, the hospitals are evaluating several options for the project including building a new state-of-the-art hospital and renovating existing infrastructure to expand health care services.

In addition to further supporting high-quality care in the region, the government is investing $1 million in a study at Grand River Hospital to evaluate the use of intraoperative surgical technology that could improve outcomes for patients who require hip replacement surgery. This innovative technology was developed in Ontario and is intended to increase the accuracy of the placement of implants, which could lead to faster patient healing time and decreased likelihood of hip dislocations post-surgery.

The study will inform the development of a new pathway to improve the adoption of new medical innovations that will innovate patient care in hospitals across the province.

QUOTES

“We are grateful to our provincial partners for taking this important step with both hospital organizations to work together to build a better future of care in Waterloo Region. We need infrastructure that will allow us to not only provide high quality care for our community today but continue to grow and meet the needs of tomorrow. This planning grant will allow us to work closely with St. Mary’s General Hospital, our communities, staff and health care partners to plan for new and renewed hospital infrastructure in Kitchener-Waterloo, together.

Sandra Hanmer

Board Chair, Grand River Hospital

 

“With this commitment for new hospital infrastructure, we can create a health system for our community and our frontline health care providers. Planning for new and renewed hospital infrastructure engineered and built to modern design standards will help us continue providing patients the high-quality care they deserve as our community grows. We know that together our organizations will be able to build better hospital facilities through collaboration than we ever could by going it alone.” 

Marion Thomson Howell

Chair of the Board of Trustees, St. Mary’s General Hospital

 

“This commitment to modernize Waterloo Region’s current hospital infrastructure will build on the long-standing tradition of innovation, integrated care and clinical excellence. This is an exciting opportunity to lead new models of care that will strengthen existing partnerships and increase access to specialized and compassionate care for those we serve.”

Dr. Anne Anderson, csj

Board Chair St. Joseph’s Health System

 

"Intellijoint was founded with a mission to provide every surgeon with effective, easy-to-use technology for the benefit of their patients. Based in Kitchener, Ontario since inception in 2010, we are very excited by our Ministry of Health's investment in this study at Grand River Hospital to assess the patient benefits and health system efficiencies enabled by Intellijoint HIP. This is not only encouraging for Intellijoint in its quest to deliver its products' benefits to Ontarians, but to the broader domestic ecosystem as this investment represents a will from our government to modernize the pathways of adoption of new medical innovations across our province."

Armen Bakirtzian

Co-founder and CEO, Intellijoint

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Grand River Hospital is the largest health care provider in Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington and offers a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and emergency services across its two hospital campuses and three satellite locations. Approximately 67,000 patients visit the hospital’s emergency department every year.
  • Mary’s General Hospital is the second-largest acute care hospital in the St. Joseph’s Health System and a Regional Cardiac Care and Thoracic Centre. The hospital provides a range of patient-centred services including outpatient surgeries, respiratory care, general medicine and 24/7 emergency care.
  • To further support the high-quality care provided by Ontario’s hospitals, the government is providing an additional $827 million to hospitals across the province, representing a four per cent increase from last year. This will ensure all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum two per cent increase to their budgets to help them better meet patient needs, while building a stronger, more resilient health care system.
  • Last year, Grand River Hospital received over $5.9 million in additional operating funding, representing a 2.4 per cent increase from the previous year, and St. Mary’s General Hospital received over $5.6 million in additional operating funding, representing a 4.1 per cent increase from the previous year.
  • Both hospitals received funding as part of the government’s $760 million commitment in the 2021 Budget to support over 3,100 additional hospital beds across the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grand River Hospital received funding for up to 46 acute, 80 transitional, 13 adult mental health, four child and youth mental health, five post-acute and one critical care bed. St. Mary’s General Hospital received funding for up to 41 acute and three critical care beds.
  • To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario’s investments over the next 10 years will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure across the province. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities, and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES