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Health and Community Services
March 22, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services:

Cardiac Care Strengthened for Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to highlight our government’s significant investments in cardiac care. Since 2008, we have provided approximately $15 million to Eastern Health for advanced cardiac care services and diagnostics, and infrastructure enhancements. These improvements to our cardiac care program benefit all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Our substantial investment in cardiac care has helped to ensure timely access to cardiac bypass surgery in the province. Since the establishment of national benchmarks for cardiac bypass surgery in 2005, our province has consistently met the wait time benchmark of 182 days.

Mr. Speaker, having the best tools available to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease is essential to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. As noted in the Throne Speech, our province is now considered a leader in cardiac care. In fact, health care professionals are travelling to our province to learn best practices. We have invested in the latest in new technologies, which are key to recruiting cardiologists. I am also pleased to say that this past year, we successfully recruited two new cardiologists.

Our overall provincial investments in capital equipment and renovations have allowed for the purchase of new cardiac monitors that will let cardiologists in St. John’s monitor a cardiac patient anywhere in the province, these investments have also allowed for the opening of a third cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Health Sciences Centre which became operational in February 2012.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the recent successful completion of the Health Care Foundation’s Give from the Heart $10 million capital campaign. Our government provided $4.5 million towards this goal to assist in the redevelopment of two of the cardiac catheterization laboratories and the addition of a third.

The Health Care Foundation was established to support the adult hospitals of St. John’s. I commend the foundation for its dedication and commitment to helping us improve our health care services through initiatives such as the Give from the Heart campaign. Our focus on cardiac care further illustrates that we will continue to make strategic investments to enhance vital health care services throughout the province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2012 03 22             1:45 p.m.

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