$207,000 for the Rouge Valley Health System

Rouge Valley Hospital

A grant will help Rouge Valley Centenary address population growth in Scarborough. 

Rouge Valley Health System has received a $207,000 grant to help serve more patients.

And while it’s not a large amount of funding, officials there say they’re happy to get it.

“It’s [the funding] certainly very welcome and we really appreciate the government’s recognition that we’re in a high population growth area,” said hospital PR head David Brazeau.

The “high growth” funding was first announced on Jan. 28 by the Central East Local Health Integrated Network, one of 14 created by Ontario’s government to help fund and organize health care in communities across the province.

The funds will be shared between the health system’s two hospitals, Rouge Valley Centenary on Ellesmere Road, and their Ajax site.

However, Rouge Valley hasn’t yet decided what programs will receive the money because the funding was just announced, Brazeau said.

But construction of the new Birthing and Newborn Centre is well underway and it’s set to open sometime later this year.

The centre, Brazeau said, is the hospital’s “recognition of the demands for more modern facilities for all the expectant mothers out there.”

Whether these new children will have a family doctor is another issue, according to Jim Roy, the president of MCI Medical Clinics Inc.

“The challenges that Scarborough faces are very similar to what other areas face, and that is underfunding of the family doctor,” Roy said. “Millions of dollars have gone into bureaucracy and very little into the family doctor.”

Bas Balkissoon, the MPP for Scarborough-Rouge Valley, said the government is working to fix that by bringing in more foreign-trained doctors and creating more space for schools to train more doctors.

While Balkissoon, who’s also the assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, said there isn’t quite enough funding for Scarborough’s health care, it’s a lot better than it used to be.

“There’s a lot more work to be done [in health care], but if you consider what it was like five years ago, it’s much improved.”

Overall, he said health care in Scarborough is high quality.

“I’d say we’re receiving pretty good service. We have three good hospitals and there’s been major investments and improvements,” he said.