Speeding Up Access To Care For London Families

    Premier McGuinty Thanks Local Health Care Workers For Improving Care

    LONDON, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visited St.
Joseph's Hospital today, and thanked local nurses, doctors and health care
professionals for working hard to ensure patients get faster care, closer to
    "Together with London's dedicated health professionals, we're working
hard to speed up access to care for thousands of people in southwestern
Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "For every person who walks through these
doors, lower wait times mean local results - results people can count on and
we can be proud of."
    Premier McGuinty made his remarks during a tour of the hospital, where he
joined health care workers, community members and local officials.
    Since coming to office, the government has funded over 19,000 additional
medical procedures in London. These procedures have helped to speed up access
to care. As a result, patients at St. Joseph's Health Care are getting:

    -  Cataract surgeries 246 days quicker
    -  Hip replacements 222 days sooner
    -  Knee replacements 358 days earlier
    -  MRI and CT scans 45 and 40 days faster.

    Wait times have also come down at the London Health Sciences Centre, where
patients are getting:

    -  Cardiac procedures up to 13 days earlier
    -  Hip replacements 304 days quicker
    -  Knee replacements 395 days faster
    -  MRI scans two days sooner.

    "Patients are getting the care they need faster, thanks to the efforts of
front-line health care workers in London and across the province," said George
Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "We are proud of what we've
achieved through our Wait Times Strategy and we will continue to build on our
    "London houses an outstanding medical school and provides service to an
extensive LHIN," said Dr. Alan Hudson, Lead of Ontario's Wait Times Strategy.
"London leader, Phil Hooper, has led the Provincial Cataract Program to a
great success."
    Providing better access to care is just the latest way the McGuinty
government is working on the side of Ontario families concerned about their
health. Other initiatives include:

    -  Creating 150 Family Health Teams to help improve access to doctors,
       nurses and other health care professionals for more Ontarians
    -  Guaranteeing nursing graduates will start in full-time positions
       beginning this year
    -  Passing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which bans smoking in public
       places and workspaces.

    "Speeding up access means more patients can get back to their normal
lives, earlier," said Premier McGuinty. "That's why we're working to build a
stronger, more sustainable health care system that will be here for
generations to come."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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