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Ontario Investing up to $7 Million for Specialized Cardiac Care in Kitchener Region

Providing Additional Heart Procedure Services at St. Mary’s General Hospital

NEWS June 17, 2016 

Ontario is providing up to $7 million in funding to improve cardiac services at St. Mary’s General Hospital. This investment will complete the current arrhythmia program by adding an electrophysiology suite and recovery areas, as well as expanding cardiac services that will provide high quality care to complex cardiac patients in the Kitchener area.

Once the project is complete, patients will benefit from:

  • Improved wait times for cardiac care services for patients in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network area
  • A complete cardiac care program at St. Mary’s General Hospital for Ablations, Complex Ablations and Electrophysiology Studies
  • Increased recovery areas for patients in the advanced cardiac care program to facilitate additional procedures such as Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators.

minister speaking at St Marys annoucementOntario is continuing to make greater investments in the health care system to give Ontarians faster access to the right care, now and in the future. As part of Budget 2016, Ontario will be investing an additional $1 billion in health care this year, totalling $51.8 billion.

Investing in health infrastructure is part of the government’s plan to improve access to high‐quality, reliable, specialized health care services and facilities for Ontarians. Through recent actions to transform health care, the province has increased patients’ access to primary care, provided more care for people at home, and reduced wait times for surgeries, diagnostic procedures and emergency department care.

Increased investment in health care is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come. 


“This investment in specialized cardiac care at St. Mary’s General Hospital is part of our government’s commitment to supporting hospitals across Ontario and ensuring that patients have access to high quality care in the community.  Quick access to the best cardiac services available will make a major difference for patients for generations to come.”
- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“After working closely with St. Mary’s president Don Shilton and the hospital’s cardiologists, we’re all very pleased to see this commitment to advancing better heart health in Waterloo Region.  The electrophysiology suite will help patients receive excellent cardiac care and will reduce wait times in our growing community.”
- Daiene Vernile MPP Kitchener-Centre

"We're very pleased with today's announcement which will allow us to build a procedure suite to provide electrophysiology and ablation services. Every year there are hundreds of people in Waterloo Wellington who have to travel to London or Hamilton for these procedures and we're looking forward to serving them closer to home beginning in late 2017."
- Don Shilton, CEO of St. Mary’s General Hospital


  • Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat which can be life-threatening.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are a pager-sized device that's implanted into the chest.
  • St. Mary’s General Hospital is the Regional Cardiac Care Centre for Waterloo-Wellington, which provides vital and far-reaching services to patients from Perth County, Grey-Bruce, Huron, Brant, and Oxford Counties, as well as Haldimand-Norfolk.
  • Ontario provided St. Mary’s General Hospital with $31 million for its cardiac program in 2015-16.
  • The number of physicians in the Kitchener-Waterloo region has increased by 40.6 per cent since 2003.
  • Ontario’s health care budget has increased from $47.6 billion in 2012–2013 to a total of $51.8 billion in 2016–17.


2016 Ontario Budget

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

St. Mary’s General Hospital


For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

Media Contacts:

Joshua McLarnon, Minister’s Office, 416-327-7527

David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 416-314-6197