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Faster Access to Life-Saving Heart Care in North Simcoe Muskoka

Archived News Release

Faster Access to Life-Saving Heart Care in North Simcoe Muskoka

New Cardiac Intervention Unit in Barrie Brings Care Closer to Home for Heart Attack Patients

Office of the Premier

Advanced cardiac care is now available to people who suffer from a heart attack in the North Simcoe Muskoka region, which for some could mean the difference between life and death.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie today to join in the celebrations as the hospital opened its state-of-the-art Cardiac Intervention Unit. The unit is part of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program with Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, which runs one of the largest advanced cardiac service hospitals in Ontario. The province's support for the new unit will give the vast majority of people across the region access to treatment for a heart attack within the first crucial 90 minutes.

Ontario's investment is part of its work to provide faster access to the right care through its Patients First action plan. RVH's Cardiac Intervention Unit started providing diagnostic heart procedures on January 9. More advanced heart procedures will start in September. And over the next five years, the unit will ramp up with a full range of cardiac services for patients, including heart procedures, diagnostic tests, inpatient care, intensive care, rehabilitation and an urgent cardiology clinic.

Improving access to advanced health care services is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing up to $6.2 million in capital funding for the new Cardiac Intervention Unit, and increasing operational funding by $6.7 million for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
  • RVH forecasts that the unit will perform about 1,200 procedures during its first year, expanding to about 3,700 during its fifth year.
  • In December, with support from the province, RVH launched the Simcoe Muskoka Child and Youth Mental Health program. It features an eight-bed inpatient unit that will care for 300 young people per year, and will also provide 3,000 outpatient visits per year.
  • As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is spending an additional $9 billion to support hospital construction projects across the province — bringing the investment in hospital infrastructure to more than $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Additional Resources


“No matter where you live in Ontario, if you or a loved one suffers from a heart attack you want access to care as soon as possible. We know the first 90 minutes are critical. That’s why we are supporting the new Cardiac Intervention Unit at RVH. Simply put, it will give patients in Barrie and across North Simcoe Muskoka a better chance not only at surviving, but getting back on their feet and back home to their family and friends.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“Ensuring the right care is available closer to home can make a big difference for people with heart disease. The new Cardiac Intervention Unit at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is an exciting step forward to improve access to care for people living in North Simcoe Muskoka.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“When it comes to the heart, time is muscle. The Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program at RVH means patients will be able to get life-saving intervention within 90 minutes of a heart attack. Having advanced cardiac services available closer to home will not only be a game changer for heart patients in our region, it will be a lifesaver.”

Janice Skot

President and CEO, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

“We are excited to mentor Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in the development of their Cardiac Intervention Unit and we are proud to continue to provide the most advanced cardiac care to North Simcoe Muskoka residents.”

Arden Krystal

President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre



Government Health and Wellness