Ottawa's Heart Institute gets $175 million boost
The provincial government is pouring $175 million into a major expansion of Ottawa's Heart Institute, anticipating an increase of patients in years to come.
The pre-election announcement comes at a time where the number of heart patients is expected to increase by 30 per cent in the next ten years.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the addition to Ontario's only stand-alone cardiac hospital will hold more intensive care beds.
"It's going to ensure people have what they need to stay healthy and greater access to quality service closer to home," he said.
Dr. Robert Roberts, president of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, said the expansion will house "hybrid operating rooms."
"When the operation is done and the chest is still open, they'll take a picture to see if the valve fits," he said.
One of the people who has benefitted from the hospital is Margaret-Anne MacLoud, who at age 72 said she's feeling the best she has in years.
This comes 18 months after she said she needed open-heart surgery, which happened after three months on a waiting list.
"The hospital uses their facilities 110 per cent, and there's so much research going on there," she said. "There's so many programs that feed into not just the surgery, but into all heart conditions."
The institute is expected to pay ten per cent of the cost of the addition, and add on $5 million for new equipment.
Construction is expected to start in 2014.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefanie Masotti