TORONTO — As part of its plan to stay open, the Ontario government is investing $38.8 million to expand University Health Network (UHN), including $34 million for one of the largest planning grants in Ontario’s history for a new state-of-the-art patient tower at Toronto Western Hospital. This expansion will add more beds and increase operating room capacity to serve more families in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding communities as the province continues to build a stronger, more resilient health system that is better able to respond to crisis.
“Investing in a new patient tower at UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital is another way our government is building a stronger, more resilient health care system for all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will ensure patients have access to enhanced surgical services and can access high-quality care for generations to come.”
A new multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art patient tower will meet the growing needs of patients and families from across the province now and in the future by adding 20 new operating rooms, including three new image-guided operation rooms for complex neurosurgical and spinal procedures. With these new rooms, UHN will be able to increase its surgical capacity by over 20 per cent in the next 10 years to provide high-quality care to more patients.
The tower will also include several new units and departments, including a pre‐operative care unit, post-anaesthetic care unit, medical device reprocessing department and pharmacy, and enhance the mental health program to provide even better integrated care.
“This investment will bring the patient tower on the Toronto Western site to reality which will benefit patients and their families by providing a state-of-the art facility to enable the best care,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of University Health Network. “Our surgical teams deserve the best facilities so that they can provide the best care, research and education available anywhere in the world.”
The government’s investment also includes $4.8 million that will be used to plan multiple expansions at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre including a new 14-bed inpatient unit for their stem cell transplant program, expanding the Malignant Haematology Day Unit to provide outpatient care and expanding the ambulatory Malignant Haemotology clinics to create dedicated nurse-led initiatives such as telephone triage, drop in assessments and high-quality virtual care. These new beds and expansion of services will ensure that more patients have access to lifesaving cancer treatment when they need it.
“Every day we see the benefits of stem cell transplants for cancer patients. This investment gives us the opportunity to serve more patients with a life saving procedure – one which can cure and extend life,” said Dr. Keith Stewart, Vice President, Cancer Program at University Health Network. “The investment in the patient tower at Toronto Western is also an investment in cancer treatment as surgical treatment of brain tumours is one of the foci of the surgical team at Toronto Western.”