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Health Care

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The Waterloo Region is fortunate to have a strong health care network with a wide range of services. Primary care providers, community agencies and hospitals as well long-term care facilities provide the health services that area residents need.

The Health System - Universal Care

Canada's publicly-funded health care system is known as "Medicare." The system provides access to universal, comprehensive coverage for medically-necessary hospital and physician services.

Many employers offer private plans to access services such as dental care, routine eye care, prescription medication and various community-based rehabilitation programs.

A great deal of work has taken place in Waterloo Region to provide high-quality health care. Area hospitals work closely together to provide specialized care for the vast majority of the community's needs.

Agencies of the Government of Ontario run the planning and funding arm for health care services in the region, as well as the Community Care Access Centre that links people with home care or long-term care facilities.

Waterloo's regional government operates a range of public health services such as emergency medical (ambulance) services along with immunization and a variety of clinics.

First contact: a family doctor or family health team

Many people will likely interact with the health system through a family doctor or nurse practitioner. Several hundred family doctors are located throughout the region, with many new offices accepting patients. The vast majority of doctors run private offices, billing the provincial government for their services.

Specialized care in local hospitals

The Waterloo Region has one of the best hospital systems in the province, with specialized services that provide the vast majority of care for area patients locally. Three-hospitals serve the Waterloo Region: two in Kitchener (St. Mary'sRegional Hospitals General Hospital and Grand River Hospital) and a third Cambridge (Cambridge Memorial Hospital).

In addition to safe and high quality care, the region's hospital community is recognized for:

  • A leading cardiac care program;
  • One of the top cancer centres in Ontario for access to services and quality of care;
  • A wide range of services for family health including childbirth and specialized children's programs;
  • Three emergency departments providing 24-7 care;
  • Critical care and trauma services;
  • Acute and longer-term specialized mental health care;
  • Stroke care and rehabilitation services
  • Kidney care services; and
  • Wide-ranging surgical services.