QUEEN’S PARK – On Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of being at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with my colleagues Kathleen Wynne and Deb Matthews, the Minister of Health. We were all video-linked to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for an amazing announcement. Sunnybrook and Thunder Bay Regional are launching a revolutionary dual-site surgical centre. They will be starting trials treating people with tumours with MRI-guided, high-intensity, focused ultrasound machines, the first two of their kind in Canada. What this means is that they will be able to remove tumours with no scalpel, no needles, and often no anaesthetic. It’s hard to believe medical science has come this far, but it’s actually happening and it’s going to be happening in Thunder Bay.
A short time ago our government provided $15 million of assistance to the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. That initial investment has helped set some extraordinary things in motion. It is through TBRRI and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre that this recent partnership with Sunnybrook has come about and so much good work is occurring.
Thunder Bay’s economy is being transformed with the growth of the knowledge-based sector. We’re diversifying, and this change is providing patients with significantly improved health outcomes. I want to congratulate everyone at both sites of the new surgical centre, especially those in Thunder Bay, including the hospital’s former CEO Ron Saddington, the current CEO, Andrée Robichaud, the regional research institute’s CEO, Michael Power, Doctors Panu and Curiel, all the other researchers and clinicians, and the board of directors. What you’re doing is truly extraordinary.