Ontario puts funds toward hospital upgrades, repairs

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Maintaining hospital infrastructure ensures a safe environment for patients

MISSISSAUGA – The Ontario government is investing $175 million this year to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19-related and other urgent projects. Through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, this funding will help hospitals maintain their infrastructure and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients to receive care.

And while the news is good, representatives of Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) indicated on Tuesday they have not yet received any word on their funding applications.

“I heard the announcement yesterday about the $175 million being provided for infrastructure and hospitals,” said Lynn Foster, president and CEO of MHC. However, “MHC has not received any word on an allocation,” she said, noting the hospital has put forward an application for funding.”
Tim Vine, vice-president of corporate support services and chief financial officer for MHC also told the Recorder, “I have not received notification of funding. We haven’t received any word. We normally apply for funding for a number of projects,” he said, noting that when funding such as this is announced, hospitals don’t normally hear if they have been approved until October or November.

The announcement was made on Monday by Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of Health. “Maintaining hospital infrastructure is another example of how our government is ensuring that Ontarians have access to health care services they can depend on, especially during these unprecedented times. Our ongoing investments to support essential projects like repairing roofs and windows and adding more isolation spaces can make a big difference to a patient’s experience. It’s part of our plan to build the capacity we need to end hallway health care in Ontario.”

As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world-class health system into the 21st century, this funding will help hospitals address urgent issues such as upgrades or replacement of roofs, windows, security systems, backup generators and fire alarms. Projects will also support hospitals in their ongoing response to COVID-19, such as updating HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, creating additional isolation spaces and negative air pressure rooms to increase capacity, and enhancing infection prevention and control measures.

“Ontario hospitals greatly appreciate this investment in critical infrastructure projects as it will improve quality of care for patients in communities across the province,” said Anthony Dale, president and CEO of Ontario Hospital Association. “Today’s announcement is particularly important as it will help strengthen hospitals as they continue to serve in the months ahead as the anchor of the province’s response to the pandemic.”