Funding means non-urgent patient transfers can continue

LITTLE CURRENT—Thanks to funding through the province and the North East Local Health Integrated Network (NE LHIN) through the Small Hospital Innovation Fund, the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) will be able to implement two new important programs.

“The funds started to flow November 15,” said Lynn Foster, president and chief executive officer of the MHC, last week. She pointed out funding of $21 million was provided province-wide, with the NE LHIN receiving approximately $700,000.
Ms. Foster pointed out the MHC will act as the transfer payment agent, distributing the funds received from the NE LHIN to area hospitals. “This funding relates to two important programs. One is the regional non-urgent patient transfer for patients, to provide transportation for non-urgent patient transfers to patients’ appointments with diagnostic specialists and CT Scan—for both— for patients to Health Scice North and from hospitals (centres) in the NE LHIN area. It also takes the pressure off the EMS from providing these non-emergency patient transfers,” she said.

Ms. Foster explained the second initiative being funded involves the North East Joint Assessment Centre program. “The Little Current Hospital provides their real important program that allows patients to have necessary assessments (done on a patient by a staff member at the MHC) carried on their hips, knees and shoulders through orthopedic doctors. This is being expanded, “in January to include spine and lower back pain, ISAEC (Interprofessional Spine Assessment and Education Clinic).” The assessments and triage are carried out at the MHC in Little Current, instead of at a specialists office. And it will provide for patients who are most in need to be assessed by specialists in a more timely manner.