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Oak Ridges Hospice receives funding to support expansion to 10 beds

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: The Ontario government is funding two more beds at Oak Ridges Hospice, bringing the local hospice to its full capacity.

Local MPPs made the announcement at the Port Perry hospice on Friday, March 3rd. The funding totals

$1 million will support these additional beds up until the 2025/2026 fiscal year. Oak Ridges Hospice now has 10 beds.

"That gives us a really decent horizon, to bring on new staff, expand our services and deliver more care to more people across Durham Region. We have felt heavily burdened by the task of caring for people across Durham Region. It's a large region with a big population," Dr. Steve Russell, one of the founding members of the hospice project, told those in attendance.

Whitby MPP, Lorne Coe stated, this investment helps Ontarians "choose where they spend their final days."

Durham MPP, Todd McCarthy explained how this investment helps take pressure off of the overall healthcare system.

"The hospitals are excellent at acute care. We are making record investments there," he said. "But, this hospice, the expansion of it and the investment in it actually takes the pressure off hospital care and acute care. Making investments in hospice care assists the hospitals while we're still investing in those hospitals."

A representative for Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Chief Kelly LaRocca read a statement from her regarding this announcement.

"I want to congratulate the hospice for your hard work and dedication to the care of people who need it most. Now, more than ever, we are all faced with healthcare challenges. Hospice work is dedicated to the maintenance of dignity for all of your patients."

Oak Ridges Hospice had started with a plan of five beds before expanding to eight in 2019.

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