A closer option for heart attack patients in Muskoka is now open. The brand new cardiac care centre at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie opened its doors today, with services ramping up over the next few years. Diagnostic heart procedures have begun and within five years more services will be offered, including heart procedures, diagnostic tests, inpatient care, intensive care, rehabilitation and an urgent cardiology clinic. RVH estimates it will do 1,200 procedures in the first year and will increase that number to 3,700 by its fifth year.

Up until now, the closest option for cardiac patients from Muskoka was in Newmarket. That meant Muskokans couldn’t get to it within 90 minutes of a heart attack, which is the time limit to receive the gold standard of care. This new unit is part of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program, in partnership with Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre, which the province says runs one of the largest advanced cardiac service hospitals in Ontario.

RVH President and CEO, Janice Skot, says having advanced cardiac services available closer to home is not only a game changer for heart patients in our region, it’s a lifesaver. The province is investing $6.2 million in capital funding for the new unit, and will increase operational funding by $6.7 million for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

Previous story:

A closer option for Muskoka heart attack patients is 50 per cent complete