Canada’s Other Voices..!...!
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2006
MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT IMPROVES NEWBORN SCREENING!
State-Of-The-Art Lab At CHEO Will Help Families Across Ontario!
— The official opening of Canada’s most comprehensive newborn screening program
at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) means that every baby born
in Ontario will be screened for several rare genetic disorders, said Premier
Dalton McGuinty. "The birth of a child is a joyous, but anxious time for
families — and that’s why we have to work to improve the care we provide to
newborns," said Premier McGuinty. "By expanding screening for more disorders, we
can make a real difference in the health of our children."
The Premier helped officially open the new screening lab today at CHEO, together
with families, health care professionals and local officials.
The government is investing $7 million annually to expand the number of
disorders newborns are screened for in Ontario. This investment will also
support the lab and help buy new, high-tech screening equipment.
Currently, the lab at CHEO receives blood samples from all Ontario newborns and
screens them for three rare genetic diseases. By the end of the year, the lab
will screen for 27 disorders. Ontario will now be the only province in Canada to
screen infants for blood disorders like sickle cell disease. This is expected to
help about 130,000 families
Newborn screening programs identify a range of disorders in infants. Early
detection means newborns can be treated sooner, which helps reduce the chance of
serious health problems later in life.
"Our government is making sure children in Ontario have the best possible start
in life by developing the most comprehensive newborn screening program in
Canada," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. "This
program will reassure parents about the health of their child or provide them
with rapid results, so
they can get the treatment they need for their child as soon as possible."
"We’re excited to be home to a groundbreaking newborn screening program that
will make Ontario a national leader in this area," said Garry Cardiff, CEO of
CHEO. "We look forward to our expertise and cutting-edge technology making a
positive difference in the lives of newborns and their parents."
Today’s announcement is just one example of how the government is working on
behalf of Ontario families concerned about their children’s health. Other
Adding three new vaccines, free of charge, to protect against chicken pox,
meningococcal and pneumococcal disease Funding insulin pumps and related
supplies for about 6,500 children living with Type 1 diabetes Funding the
expansion of the hematology and cancer outpatient clinic at The Hospital for
"Our children’s health is our most precious resource and Ontario families want
and deserve the very best health care," said Premier McGuinty. "By doing our
best to screen for diseases and protect our children’s health, we’re on their
side in building a healthier Ontario and a better quality of life for us all."
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