Stronger Hospitals, Better Care for Kitchener-Waterloo

March 23rd, 2018

Major Funding Boost Will Reduce Wait Times, Address Capacity Issues and Provide Better Care Closer to Home

Ontario is investing an additional $11.62 million in Kitchener-Waterloo hospitals. This is part of the province’s commitment to invest an additional $822 million in Ontario hospitals in 2018–19 — an increase of 4.6 per cent.

MPP Daiene Vernile was at St. Mary’s General Hospital to explain how this major increase in hospital funding will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Kitchener-Waterloo’s changing population.

This overall increase of 4.6 per cent across the province is on top of the 3.2 per cent provided last year — allowing hospitals to invest with more precision in the care and supports that address the specific needs of their patients and community.

Patients and families across Ontario will also directly benefit from this increased funding with the expansion of essential services to reduce wait times and priority procedures such as cardiac care, critical care, chemotherapy, treatment for strokes, hip and knee replacements, and medical imaging.

Increasing funding to hospitals and access to high-quality health care across the province is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“We are committed to making sure hospitals have the resources and supports they need to meet the needs of growing and aging communities. With this historic investment, publicly funded hospitals can increase capacity, decrease wait times and improve access to care for families across Ontario.” — Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Investing in the health and well-being of Ontarians has always been a priority.  This new funding represents a significant investment in the Kitchener-Waterloo community, and will allow residents to receive improved access to care with reduced wait times.”

— Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre

“Every day, staff and physicians at St. Mary’s work extremely hard to deliver on St. Mary’s vision to be the safest and most effective hospital in Canada, characterized by innovation compassion and respect. We are grateful for this investment and look forward to strengthening the care and support St. Mary’s offers to this community.”

— Don Shilton, President, St. Mary’s General Hospital

“We appreciate this additional funding to advance exceptional care in our community, especially as our population grows and ages. We’re dedicated to serving our patients and working with partners in the community to do so.”

— Malcolm Maxwell, President and CEO, Grand River Hospital

“We are pleased to see this commitment to increased funding for our local health system. Continuing to invest resources in our hospitals, as well as in other vital health services such as home and community care and long-term care, will help to reduce wait times and ensure local residents have access to the care they need.”

— Mike Delisle, Board Chair, WWLHIN


  • St. Mary’s General Hospital will receive $7.58 million in additional funding in 2018-19.  
  • Grand River Hospital will receive $4.04 million in additional funding in 2018-19.   
  • In February 2018, Ontario renewed its support to address increased need for hospital beds with a $187 million investment in 2018–19 that further supports access to care and reduced wait times.
  • Hospital operating funding in Ontario has increased by more than 65 per cent, from $11.3 billion in 2003–04 to almost $19 billion in 2018-19.
  • The province invested an additional $100 million in 2017–18 in home care supports and services.Ontario is creating 5,000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade.
  • Ontario is launching a historic expansion of mental health and addiction services, with the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history — an increase of $2.1 billion over four years.
  • Starting in August 2019, Ontario plans to make prescription drugs free for seniors through OHIP+ for seniors 65 and over, building on the province’s biggest expansion of medicare in a generation that has already made prescription medications free for everyone under the age of 25.




Speech from the Throne

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare