Ontario Increases Bariatric Surgery Capacity

    McGuinty Government To Treat More Patients With Obesity Under Diabetes

    TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ -


    As part of its diabetes strategy, Ontario is further expanding access to
bariatric surgery by creating a comprehensive bariatric network and boosting
the number of annual surgeries to 2,085 a year by 2011/2012.

    The Ontario government is investing up to $12.6 million to:
    -  Expand the Humber River Regional Hospital centre of excellence to
       include five other Toronto sites (Toronto East General Hospital, St.
       Michael's Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre, The Hospital for Sick
       Children and University Health Network's Toronto Western Hospital
       site), now called the University of Toronto Collaborative Bariatric
       Surgery Program
    -  Fund an additional 615 bariatric surgeries at the new University of
       Toronto Collaborative Bariatric Surgery Program by 2011/2012
    -  Create the province's first regional assessment and treatment centre
       at Windsor Regional Hospital.
    -  Establish the province's first pediatric regional assessment and
       treatment centre at The Hospital for Sick Children to treat obesity
       and prevent the need for surgery in the future.
    -  Create an Ontario Bariatric Network, consisting of four centres of
       excellence located in Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph and Ottawa and the
       Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre in Windsor.

    Increasing access to bariatric services is part of the government's
four-year, $741-million diabetes strategy to prevent, manage and treat
diabetes. It will also decrease pressure on Ontario's Out-Of-Country Program,
saving about $10,000 for every case done in the province.


    "Our government is committed to helping Ontarians lead healthy lives.
We're increasing the availability of bariatric surgery as well as other
assessment and counselling services so that more people battling severe
obesity can get the treatment they need right here in Ontario."
    --Health and Long-Term Care Minister David Caplan.

    "We're pleased to become a part of the centre of excellence for bariatric
surgery in Toronto. We know how important it is to have this highly
specialized surgery available close to home for severely obese patients."
    --Dr. Richard Reznick, MD, MEd, FRCSC, FACS, R.S. McLaughlin Professor
and Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Vice President
Education, University Health Network.


    -  Today's announcement means the province is increasing bariatric
       surgery capacity by over 750% over the next three years.
    -  Bariatric surgery is also known as gastric by-pass surgery.
    -  High levels of obesity are leading to a dramatic rise in illnesses
       such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and some
    -  In 2008/09 Ontario will fund 1,660 patients for out-of-country
       bariatric services.


    Find out more about the latest development on obesity research at the
Canadian Obesity Network (http://www.obesitynetwork.ca)/.

    Read about the government's recent announcement on bariatric surgery
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=3d30961e379780c) and the diabetes

                                                      Disponible en français



    The Ontario government is improving access to treatment for Ontarians who
are struggling with severe obesity by creating a province-wide network of
services that include bariatric surgery.

    Diabetes Strategy
    Today, about 900,000 Ontarians live with diabetes (8.8 per cent of the
province's population) and this number is expected to grow to 1.2 million by
2010. Diabetes and its complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney
disease and blindness cost the health-care system over $5 billion annually.
    In July 2008, Ontario launched a $741 million diabetes strategy that aims
to prevent, manage and treat diabetes care across the province. This strategy
builds on internationally accepted best practices and the recommendations of
the Diabetes Management Expert Panel.

    Bariatric Surgery
    Bariatric surgery - gastric bypass surgery - involves reconfiguring a
patient's digestive system to achieve a significant loss of weight. It is
considered a medical intervention of last resort for patients who have
unsuccessfully tried to lose weight in other ways, such as diet, increased
physical activity, behaviour modification and anti-obesity drugs.
    Bariatric surgery can help resolve several health conditions, such as
diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemias. Dyslipidemias is a condition that
can lead to the hardening of the artery walls, which can restrict blood flow
to the heart. Bariatric surgery can also reduce other obesity-related
conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), osteoarthritis (a
painful joint disease), ischemic heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

    Bariatric Surgery Capacity
    The government funding will increase bariatric surgery capacity by
nine-fold over the next three years. In 2007/08, Ontario funded 244 bariatric
    A plan to fund 1,470 additional bariatric surgeries a year was announced
in February as part of Ontario's $75 million plan to improve access to
bariatric services.
    By 2011/12, Ontario will fund a minimum of 2,085 surgeries a year to be
delivered at the following centres of excellence:

    -  University of Toronto Collaborative - 945 surgeries (includes existing
       330 surgeries per year at Humber)
    -  Hamilton - 450 surgeries
    -  The Ottawa Hospital - 450 surgeries
    -  Guelph General Hospital - 240 surgeries

    Bariatric Surgery Projected Volumes (All Ontario sites)
    Region                      2009/10  2010/11                     2011/12
    Hamilton                        180      340                         450
    Ottawa                          150      300                         450
    Guelph                          150      240                         240
    U of T Collaborative            638      791                         945
    (includes existing 330                         (330 surgeries at Humber
    surgeries per year at Humber)                  + an additional 615 across
                                                   the rest of the
    TOTAL                          1118     1671                        2085

    Ontario Bariatric Network
    The Ontario Bariatric Network consists of four centres of excellence, a
Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre, and a Paediatric Regional Assessment
and Treatment Centre:
    -  Hamilton (St. Joseph's Healthcare and Hamilton Health Sciences
       Corporation's General site)
    -  University of Toronto Collaborative Bariatric Surgery Program (Humber
       River Regional Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto East
       General Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre
       and University of Health Network's Toronto Western site)
    -  The Ottawa Hospital
    -  Guelph General Hospital
    -  Windsor Regional Hospital (Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre).

    The network will be led by an advisory board that will provide advice on
managing access and quality of delivery of bariatric services in Ontario by
establishing common assessment criteria, developing/sharing of best practices
as well as ongoing monitoring of outcomes.

    Centres of Excellence
    The four centres of excellence located in Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph and
Ottawa provide pre-and post-bariatric surgical care, counseling, referral and
weight loss treatment delivered by a multi-disciplinary health care team
consisting of physicians, nurses, dieticians, social workers, kinesiologists
and mental health workers.

    Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre
    Windsor Regional Hospital is being named as the first bariatric regional 
   assessment and treatment centre. It's anticipated that there will be a
number of these centres located across the province based on community need
and population. The centres will involve a multi-disciplinary team of
bariatric experts (physician, nurse, dietician, social worker, pharmacist) and
refer patients to the appropriate treatment (surgery, psychiatric counseling,
drug therapy).

    Pediatric Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre
    The Hospital for Sick Children is being named as the first pediatric
regional assessment and treatment centre. The centre will treat children with
complex severe obesity through family-centred, tertiary, interdisciplinary
treatment, care coordination and, only where appropriate, bariatric services.
The interdisciplinary team includes a key worker, psychologist, social worker,
exercise physiologist, dietician and clinic/research clerk.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 326-3986;
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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