Ontario licenses facility to perform
TORONTO – The Ontario government has licensed a not-for-profit Toronto
organization to provide 5,000 cataract surgeries annually on an
outpatient basis. The Kensington Eye Institute is being recognized by
the government as a ‘Centre of Excellence’.
The institute has raised all capital funds through its Kensington
Foundation. The government will provide operating funds, estimated to be
$5 million annually. Cataract surgery is a relatively simple surgery
well-suited to being performed in an outpatient care facility like
Kensington. Providing only cataract surgeries in a single facility will
mean a more efficient delivery of this health service.
“The Kensington Eye Institute will significantly increase the province’s
capacity for cataract surgeries, and it will reduce wait times,” said
Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. “These surgeries
will greatly enhance the quality of life for many Ontarians, especially
seniors with failing sight.”
“With the opening of the Kensington Eye Institute we are taking a major
step forward in proving timely, high quality eye care for our patients
with cataracts in the Toronto area,” said Dr. Andrew Budning, Chair of
the Ophthalmology section, Ontario Medical Association.
The downtown Toronto clinic will perform 5,000 new, routine cataract
surgeries annually. In addition, another 1,700 annual procedures will be
moved to Kensington from Toronto’s four acute-care teaching hospitals –
University Health Network, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital
and Sunnybrook and Women’s Hospital. This will free up operating rooms
at these facilities for more complex eye surgeries.
“We share the government’s vision for quality, efficient care in most
appropriate settings. Congratulations on this innovative initiative,”
said Joe Mapa, President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital.
“The Kensington Eye Institute will provide a state-of-the-art medical,
teaching and research facility, with the latest technology and equipment
that will harness under-utilized professional medical resources,” said
Brian McFarlane, CEO of the Kensington Eye Institute. “It is the unique
relationship between the institute and four University of
Toronto-affiliated teaching hospitals that will allow individual
healthcare providers to deliver innovative services in the most
professional, efficient and cost-effective manner possible.”
The new cataract surgery centre of excellence will also be an important
University of Toronto training site and will help train Ontario’s future
ophthalmologists. Over 30 ophthalmologists will be affiliated with the
Kensington Eye Institute and with the University of Toronto teaching
“Kensington will be a excellent training centre for our eye surgeons of
the future,” said Dr. Jeff Hurwitz, Professor and Chair of the
Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto.
“Because all of the surgeons at Kensington will be University of
Toronto-appointed ophthalmologists, we can ensure that our residents
will continue to be trained at the highest level.”
The Kensington Eye Institute is a not-for-profit corporation licensed as
an independent health facility. It is one of almost 1,000 independent
health facilities providing publicly-funded services in Ontario’s
healthcare system. There are no charges to patients for provincially
insured services at independent health facilities.
This initiative supports Premier Dalton McGuinty plan to build a
healthcare system that builds on three priorities – keeping Ontarians
healthy, reducing wait times and improving access to doctors and nurses.