CHATHAM-KENT -- Hospitals in Leamington and Chatham-Kent will benefit from this week's funding announcement from the provincial government.

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced on Thursday the Conservative government will spend $68 million this year to help nearly 90 small and medium-sized hospitals.

Erie Shores Healthcare will receive a $558,000 increase.

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance will receive $1.73 million.

“Chatham-Kent Health Alliance welcomes this latest funding announcement, providing for the sustainability of core hospital services at both the Chatham and Wallaceburg sites,” said CKHA President and CEO Lori Marshall.

Wilson admitted Thursday the province's existing funding formula has disadvantaged smaller facilities and this is the government's first step toward addressing the issue.

“This new investment in our local hospitals is great news and long overdue” said local Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls. "Rural Ontario has a real voice in government now. The support for small and medium sized healthcare operations will greatly reduce wait times and the associated long term costs of wait times."

The Four Counties Health Services in Lambton, Kent, Middlesex and Elgin Counties will also receive $90,000.

The funding will result in 66 small hospitals receiving a one per cent funding increase.

An additional 23 medium-sized hospitals will receive a 1.5 per cent increase.

Windsor Regional Hospital is not included in the new funding announcement because it is considered a large hospital.