Toronto (June 19, 2007) - The Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network launched a new referral process today for hip and knee replacements as part of Ontario's Wait Times Strategy. Toronto Western Hospital will be the site of one of two Assessment Centres that are a key part of the process.

Under the new program, all patients will be referred by their physician to a Central Intake Centre, located at Sunnybrook's Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre. From there, patients will be sent to one of two Assessment Centres—-Toronto Western Hospital and the Holland Centre—-where specially trained multidisciplinary teams, including Advanced Practice Physiotherapists, will undertake a comprehensive physical assessment to determine the need for surgery and level of severity, and refer the patient on to the appropriate surgeon.

The new process will expand to other participating hospitals over the next six months.

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