LONDON, ONT. -- Provincial funding for new hospital beds will help London and St. Thomas hospitals catch up on surgeries postponed during the pandemic.

The provincial government says the funding will also help improve access to care during this time.

Elgin-Middlesex-London allocations are as follows:

  • $1,479,800 – St. Josephs Health Centre London – up to 14 hospital beds
  • $9,399,300 – London Health Sciences Centre – up to 100 hospital beds and 1 additional critical care bed
  • $249,400 – St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital – up to 1 additional critical care bed

"Now more than ever, it is critical that our hospitals have the capacity needed to deliver the care community members deserve," said Jeff Yurek, MPP in a news release announcing the funding. "These investments will help to ensure that a bed is available for all who need one, without delay."

London Health Sciences Centre issued a statement from President and CEO Dr. Paul Woods, saying the funding is welcome news "that will allow us to continue to care for our community during this pandemic, influenza season, and beyond."

St. Joseph’s also issued a statement. President and CEO Dr. Gillian Kernaghan said the hospital is "grateful for this important investment as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic."

Both hospitals indicated that they are looking forward to receiving more details on the funding.

In the meantime, Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said it all helps as the region battles through the second wave of COVID-19.

"I’d say we’re well positioned. I think we were well positioned in the first wave as well. I mean, we didn’t have over-capacity ICU, or hospitals, in the first wave of COVID. The difference now is, the hospitals are trying to keep up as much as they can, of those other really important services, surgeries et cetera, that were all cancelled during the first wave."

The provincial funding is part of $116.5 million announced to create up to 766 new hospital beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province.