2012-10-01 at 23:19
Almost there: Council hears updated on ReGen Med status
Yves Fricot (right) and Judy Sander speak to city council on Oct. 01, 2012.
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Officials with ReGen Med have asked for six more months and roughly $300,000 in order to make Canada’s only bone and tissue bank sustainable.
City council received an update on the company’s operations at Monday night’s meeting. The city has already provided more than $1.2 million to help ReGen Med stay afloat as well as providing $50,000 every month for the past five months.
Judy Sander, chair of the board for ReGen Med, said they need more time to advocate to the province and added that they are close to becoming sustainable. Sander requested an additional six months with a recommendation to continue the monthly $50,000 funding.
“It takes time, money and energy to reach success,” Sander said. “We’re very close but we’re not there yet. The health care field is extremely challenging. I had hoped last time that even with the $250,000 that I would never be back in this seat again. I would like to be back here with the sustainability numbers.”
City officials have advocated for the company to become one of the three or four Canadian Blood Services tissue banks.
Sander said ReGen Med is the only organization to fit the recommended model by CBS. She said if they don’t have the province’s ear by the spring, then they will call it quits.
Board member Yves Fricot said ReGen Med is leading the pack when it comes to standards with the province and requested the city continue to support the organization.
“The current system costs the province $60,000 to $100,000 to produce the same amount of grafts as ReGen Med,” Fricot said. “If you look at the cost of producing the grafts initially, the surgery based recovery will cost the province about $10,000. We’re doing the same thing at about $3,500.”
McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga said the city has already provided more than a million dollars in financial assistance and had thought it was the last time.
“I was assured last time was going to be the last time,” Giertuga said. “This seems like a provincial issue.”
Red River Coun. Brian McKinnon noted that ReGen Med would save the Ontario Health Insurance Plan between $16 million to $20 million.
At-Large Coun. Larry Hebert gave his support for the not-for-profit organization but expressed his concerns that the Canadian Blood Services could abandon ReGen Med the way it did the plasma centre.
Sander said she doubted CBS would do that and added it probably wouldn’t run everything.
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