Royal Victoria Regional Health Center (RVH) Chief Executive Officer Gail Hunt and Vice President of Strategy, Stakeholder Relations and Communications Jason Reyner presented to Council on Wednesday to Muskoka council to provide updates on its health services.
RVH opened in 1897 and provides specialty health care services. Located in Barrie, the centre cares for 190,000 patients every year. In 2022 RVH saw 6650 patients from the Muskoka region including 1415 cancer patients and 675 cardiac patients.
A key change for RVH is the acquisition of a PET scanner, which uses imaging technology to detect certain cancers earlier and with more precision. Hunt stated that the scanner with be the only one in the Muskoka region, and allows up to 750 patients who require scans to avoid long travel.
“Patients that travel annually for their scan will now be able to have a closer to home and get that treatment sooner and faster,” Hunt said.
Reyner seconded this point.
“We know of a number of families that had to go to Sudbury and when you’re separating a family when they’re going through these kinds of crisis, it’s really difficult and adds to the complexity of the situation,” Reyner said.
Another program offered by RVH is the STEMI Protocol for heart attack victims. According to Reyner, this involves a partnership with paramedics, hospitals and other local healthcare providers.
“To be able to get to a hospital for the STEMI protocol within 120 minutes of onset for intervention is literally life-saving,” Reyner said.
With population growth expected in the Muskoka District, RVH has plans to increase critical care beds and an expansion of the dialysis community clinic in Barrie. There are also plans to expand the centre campus to increase care for patients. Hunt stated that growing population pressure will require greater cooperation between RVH and other healthcare providers.
“We all have population pressure points. To be able to serve our population we need to be able to grow together because community and regional hospitals do work closely,” Hunt said.
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