McGuinty government supports better access to hip and knee replacement services

    Innovative Assessment Centre At The Scarborough Hospital To Reduce Wait

    TORONTO, March 9 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is supporting a new
orthopaedic assessment centre at The Scarborough Hospital that will reduce
wait times and improve access to total hip and knee joint replacements for up
to 6,000 patients a year, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman
announced today.
    "The Scarborough Hospital is taking a leadership role in improving access
to total hip and knee joint replacement services for local patients,"
Smitherman said. "By developing this innovative delivery model, the hospital
is supporting our government's goal to help patients receive quality services
    The government is sponsoring the establishment of the orthopaedic
assessment centre at The Scarborough Hospital's Grace campus. The centre,
which will serve as a resource for the Central East Local Health Integration
Network (LHIN), will emphasize the assessment and treatment for osteoarthritis
while reducing wait times for total hip and knee joint replacements.
    A specially trained team of multidisciplinary staff will assess patients
and provide care planning and referral to services. This results in
orthopaedic surgeons spending less time in the office and more time in the
operating room, which helps increase the number of cases performed and
improves access for patients. The assessment team will operate one-day per
week out of the Rouge Valley Ajax Pickering site in order to provide better
access to local residents. The centre will have the capacity to handle
approximately 6,000 patient visits per year.
    "This new model of care will mean that more people will get timely access
to the health care they need," said Hugh Scott, President and CEO of The
Scarborough Hospital. "We're proud to be partnering with the Rouge Valley
Health System, Central East Local Health Integration Network, and the Ontario
government to provide the best health care possible."
    The program will also have the capacity to expand and include patients
with a range of chronic and acute musculoskeletal needs. This will provide an
opportunity to implement and evaluate the Orthopaedic Assessment Centre as the
first phase of a more comprehensive Musculoskeletal Centre of Excellence for
the Central East LHIN.
    "This new program to reduce wait times will have a positive impact for
local residents," said Brad Duguid, MPP for Scarborough Centre. "The
Scarborough Hospital's Grace Campus has an important role to play in providing
quality health services in a timely manner."
    "Our government is proud of partnerships such as this which puts
patients' needs first," said Gerry Phillips, MPP for Scarborough-Agincourt.
"The health professionals and staff at The Scarborough Hospital are dedicated
to improving care for residents in our community."

    The McGuinty government has taken a leadership role in reducing wait times
in Canada by:
    -  Investing more than $614 million through Ontario's Wait Time Strategy
       since 2004 to provide nearly 740,000 additional procedures for five
       key areas (cancer surgery, cardiac procedures, cataract surgery, hip
       and knee replacements, and MRI/CT scans)
    -  Creating a public website that provides information on wait times in
       hospitals across the province
    -  Supporting a number of innovative and more efficient models of care
       delivery, such as Kensington Eye Institute, that are changing how
       health care is accessed in Ontario.

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at: under the News Media section.

    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:

    Disponible en français.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jeff Rohrer, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-8016; A.G. Klei, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416)
314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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