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$12 million boost for Lakeridge Health

Additional funds to be used to help capacity and emergency department issues

A provincial funding boost of $12 million is set to help Lakeridge Health address emergency department issues, particularly at its Oshawa hospital.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Lakeridge Health is getting a boost to its bottom line.

The province of Ontario recently announced an additional $11.94 million in operational funding for Lakeridge’s four hospitals, will be used to address “pressure points” on its emergency departments, particularly in Oshawa.

“There are patients who are waiting to get into the inpatient unit. They get stuck down in the ER because they can’t get to a bed in an inpatient unit,” says Lakeridge Heath president and CEO Matthew Anderson.

The Lakeridge head also says the hospital network is facing some capacity issues, and he hopes this new funding will help create space for more beds in other departments.

The funding also will also allow Lakeridge to increase its elective surgeries, which in turn will alieve pressure off the ER.

This is the first increase to Lakeridge’s operating budget in three years, Anderson notes.

“I’m very encouraged with the recognition,” he adds.

The health care network’s total operating budget for 2018-2019 was set at just over $600 million before the new funding was announced.

With the Ontario election a few months away, Anderson says he is unsure if funding increases will continue.

“We haven’t heard specific funding platforms for health care funding.”

With that said, the Ontario Hospital Association will be advocating on behalf of hospitals.

“We have a growing and relatively aging population. Investments are going to be required,” he says.

Lakeridge will be reaching out to local candidates to discuss their role in Durham, and he hopes the public does the same.

“We hope when candidates are out talking to their constituents they will hear health care is important to them.”