The Ontario government is investing over $2.5 million into pediatric services in Belleville and Kingston and the Thousand Islands.
KHSC is getting $431,000 towards the hospital network’s pediatric program, while the majority of the funds -$1.29 million- will go to the KidsInclusive Centre for Child & Youth Development in Kingston.
KidsInclusive Centre works with children with physical or developmental challenges, and has locations both at Hotel Dieu and in Brockville.
Quinte’s Children’s Treatment Centre and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit also receive a share of the funding.
Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said the funding will boost the care that families in the regions can attain close to home.
“Ontario is putting children and youth first by ensuring they receive the care they need when they need it,” Parsa said.
“Our government’s significant investment in pediatric care will reduce waitlists, improve access to clinical assessments, early intervention, and children’s rehabilitation services, such as speech-language pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.”
The funding is part of a promised $330 million in funding from the province to pediatric programs in Ontario hospitals.
KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora said some of the funding coming to KHSC will be used directly to hire more staff.
“As southeastern Ontario’s provider of highly specialized care for young patients and families, this funding will support both acute pediatric inpatient and outpatient care, as well as rehab and long-term support through our KidsInclusive childhood development program,” Pichora said.
“Specifically, the funding will be used to hire new staff, and begin new initiatives, all aimed at reducing wait-times and improving access for children and families from across our region.”
The province’s release says the funding will increase access to psychosocial supports for children at the pediatric oncology clinic, and increase access to children’s rehabilitation service at KidsInclusive Center.
While committing to $330 million annually, the province’s funding was prorated to $240 million after being announced in July.