It’s all about better patient care. Merging the hospitals will allow us to provide better health care to the people we care for in Scarborough and west Durham (Ajax, Pickering and Whitby).
In the short term, merging will mean that patients will get access to excellent care, faster. A merged hospital system will enable us to improve quality and access to care, and improve coordination and transition so that patients can easily navigate the health care system. It will also improve our ability to provide cross-campus patient care.
In the long term merging will allow us to establish more centres of excellence and first-class regional programs, which will allow us to provide top-quality specialized care, close to home. In the long term, we will also be able to build ambulatory care centres, which are often better than hospital emergency departments in providing non-emergency care; and better use our healthcare dollars by directing savings toward patient care. A merged hospital corporation will also attract more specialist doctors to our communities.
Merging will create better quality services accessible to our communities and will attract more specialist doctors. The proposed merger will provide us with the ability to better organize services for patients, and will allow us to provide patients with world-class clinical care for services such as maternal/child, oncology, urology, palliative care, and post-acute care. In other words, people will get access to excellent care, faster.
A merged RVHS-TSH would have more profile and impact in Ontario. The merged hospital corporation would be the seventh largest in Ontario, meaning that we would have a larger budget to provide better care to more patients. We would rank first in the number of surgical cases we would perform yearly, second in emergency visits, and in the top twenty-five for inpatient days for mental health, rehabilitation, and complex continuing care.
We don’t know what the impact of an election could have. But we do know that regardless of the election outcome the challenges facing us will remain the same.
The issues we are addressing with the proposed merger include:
- Inconsistent access to care, currently, to services and specialties in Scarborough and west Durham;
- The need for fundamental restructuring of the health care system to address increasing patient demands, an aging population and reduced availability of hospital funding;
- Hospitals have three to five per cent annual inflation cost pressures, not covered by flat-lined provincial funding;
- Maintenance of aging hospital facilities in Scarborough, and insufficient capacity of facilities in west Durham.
In moving forward with the proposed merger our focus is to continue to improve the care we provide to patients in the Scarborough and west Durham communities. We will continue to listen to our communities and advise the Central East Local Integration Network (Central East LHIN) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on what’s best for delivering health care to our communities and leave the discussion of elections to politicians.
We’ve put forward a strong case outlining how merging the two hospital corporations will benefit the patients and communities we serve. The merger will allow us to continue to improve the quality of and access to care. We’re entirely focused on moving that case forward. The information, analysis and stakeholder engagement we are doing with our communities will be valuable in the planning of health care services for both the short and long terms.
We have submitted pre-capital applications to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. These applications have been submitted to secure the grants necessary to proceed with the feasibility, planning and design for two facilities projects – one for Scarborough and one for west Durham (serving Ajax, Pickering and Whitby). This is the first step in a multi-year, multi-phase process but is one that is urgently needed in order to begin to secure desperately needed government investments to modernize and expand our facilities to meet the patient care needs of our communities. This is a lengthy process and will not occur overnight, and we will keep our stakeholders informed as to our progress.
The proposed merger of RVHS and TSH addresses patients' preferences and doctor referrals of their patients. We know the majority of patients either receive their care at RVAP or go west into Toronto, rather than east to Lakeridge Health. Doctors at TSH and RVHS strongly support the proposed merger of RVHS and TSH. Building more collaboration with Lakeridge Health is something we’re sure to explore more in the future, but right now we’re focused on the RVHS and TSH merger as the facts demonstrate that it will bring both immediate and long-term benefits to patients.
Yes, absolutely. TSH and RVHS deliver excellent care. RVHS and TSH are two highly respected hospitals committed to the well-being of our patients, staff, and community. Both hospitals have achieved a four-year Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada, which speaks to their commitment to excellence in patient care. We are committed to maintaining and building on this record of excellence. Together, our hospitals will be able to strengthen existing programs, and develop new or enhanced services for the community through centres of excellence, clinics and partnerships with other service providers.
Such an approval will be very welcome when and if that government decision is made. Our communities would be much better served by modernizing and expanding our hospital facilities in both communities of west Durham and one in Scarborough. Until such facilities investments are approved by the provincial government and the facilities constructed and opened, we are maintaining our commitment to our four existing hospital buildings and their emergency departments. In the meantime we continue to be firmly committed to excellent quality care at all hospitals sites in all of our patient services.