Ontario Investing in new MRI Services at St. Mary's General Hospital & Grand River Hospital

Published on December 07, 2021

 Investment Will Help Ensure Patients and Families Have Access to High-Quality Health Care


NEWS                                                                                                                     December 7, 2021

REGION OF WATERLOO — The Ontario government is taking further action to end hallway health care and address wait times for diagnostic imaging by investing in new MRI services at St. Mary's General Hospital and Grand River Hospital. This will help ensure that people in Waterloo Region can receive the high-quality care and diagnostic imaging they need when they need it.


"I'm grateful to the Premier and Minister of Health for making the Region of Waterloo a priority and helping to shorten wait times for medical diagnostics to support expanding MRI services at St. Mary's General Hospital and Grand River Hospital," said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. "Our Government has committed to ending hallway health care, and these investments will have a significant and positive impact on the individuals and families in our communities that need access to MRI services without unnecessary wait times or having to travel elsewhere."


Over the last ten years, the demand for MRI services has increased on average by approximately four percent annually. Wait times have worsened with 54 percent of cases completed within target wait times in 2013/14 to 39 percent of patients completed within target in 2019/2020.


This new investment brings more MRI services to Waterloo Region, making it easier for patients to receive the care they need closer to home. It is part of the government's $30 million investment in the 2021 Budget to support MRI services for patients and add new MRI machines to hospitals across the province.


"Our government made a commitment to end hallway health care, and that includes ensuring that patients have access to high-quality MRI services," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "By providing hospitals with annual investments to support net new MRI machines, our government is helping to ensure that these vital services are available to patients now and in the future."


As part of a broader, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, in 2021-22, the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario's hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, including on evenings and weekends.


The 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. This includes funding to create more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity, as well as an increase of $778 million in the operating budget to ensure all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum one percent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.



“This investment brings the number of hospital-based MRIs serving the people of Waterloo Region from 1 to 3 and better aligns our community with MRI access available in other communities across the province,” said Ron Gagnon, President and CEO of Grand River Hospital. “On behalf of the community and the team members at Grand River Hospital, I extend my thanks to our MPP for all his work in getting this much-needed investment for the community.  I also want to thank the Minister as well as the teams at Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health for their support.”


“As home to the Regional Cardiac Care Centre and Chest Centre, having access to MRI services at St. Mary’s for the first time in our history is both exciting and essential to support quality patient care at our hospital,” said Lee Fairclough, President of St. Mary’s General Hospital. “We are very grateful for the province’s investment to support new MRI services and look forward to working with our Foundation and community to support the equipment needs to deliver the best care and outcomes possible for our patients..”

“We are grateful for the Province’s continued health care investments in our community of MRI machines at St. Mary’s Hospital and Grand River Hospital.  We know that a strong economy is built on the foundation of healthy people, which has never been more apparent than during the past 20 months through the pandemic,” said City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “As a growing community, continued investments in health care are critical for not only shortening wait times for our residents but also doing as much as possible to ensure our residents receive the care they need close to home, resulting in better health outcomes overall.”



  • To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario is investing $30.2 billion over the next 10 years in infrastructure to address longstanding challenges around hospital bed shortages in the hospital sector. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities, and renew existing hospitals and community health centres