Ontario invests in a new state-of-the-art hospital to serve St. Catharines area

Archived Release

Ontario invests in a new state-of-the-art hospital to serve St. Catharines area

Ministry of Infrastructure

Provincial Investment Will Reduce Waiting Times, Improve Treatment For Area Residents ST. CATHARINES, ON, Sept. 16 - Residents of St. Catharines will have improved access to health care thanks to a major provincial government investment in building a new state-of the-art hospital for Niagara Health System's site here. MPP Jim Bradley made the announcement today on behalf of Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. "This government investment will give our community better access to a full range of hospital services, including cancer and cardiac care facilities," said Bradley. "This project is important to everyone in Niagara." The province's commitment means the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital to support inpatient and outpatient services, a new cancer centre with a three radiation machine capacity and a full range of acute inpatient and ambulatory services. It also means a cardiac catheterization lab and longer-term mental health services. "The McGuinty government is re-building Ontario's public infrastructure, and this project is an essential part of our plan to modernize hospitals, reduce waiting times and upgrade medical equipment in this area and throughout the province," said Caplan. "Our infrastructure investments are helping us build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous province." "This project will ensure people in this community have access to the modern, effective health care they need and deserve," said Smitherman. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal has approved the Niagara Health System project as an alternative financing and procurement project. This means the construction work will be financed and carried out by the private-sector, which will assume the financial risks if the project is not finished on time and on budget. Once the hospital is built, it will be publicly owned, controlled and accountable. "The benefits of this hospital project will be felt across Niagara, and we are thrilled with the provincial government's support for our plan to improve and expand hospital services right here in our region," said Debbie Sevenpifer, president and CEO of the NHS. "Today's announcement means that we will be in a very good position to open for services to patients by early 2010." "Ontario doctors support the government's plan to modernize and expand Ontario's hospital infrastructure," said Greg Flynn, President of the Ontario Medical Association, representing 24,000 physicians. "Patient care is paramount -- a healthier infrastructure means healthier hospitals and healthier Ontarians." "We congratulate the government for its commitment to build a new cancer centre in St. Catharines," said Terry Sullivan, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. "With this new centre, patients in St. Catharines and surrounding area will have access to high quality cancer care as close to home as possible." "Innovative financing models allow hospitals to harness private-sector capital and expertise and move forward quickly with projects that will benefit patients and their communities," said Hilary Short, president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA). "That is why the OHA has long supported the use of these models to finance the construction and modernization of Ontario's hospitals." Under the province's ReNew Ontario infrastructure investment plan, the McGuinty government and its partners are investing $5 billion over the next five years to improve Ontario's health care facilities. Disponible en français www.pir.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART HOSPITAL FOR NIAGARA HEALTH SYSTEM'S GREENFIELD SITE IN ST. CATHARINES The hospital contributes to the overall health of Niagara's population through the delivery of community hospital services to residents in St. Catharines and Thorold, and the delivery of more specialized services to residents from across Niagara. The Ontario government is supporting the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital for the Niagara Health System's site in St. Catharines. Once completed, the hospital will have a comprehensive range of services to support inpatient and outpatient services. In addition, it will also have a new cancer centre with a three radiation machine capacity, a cardiac catheterization lab, and longer-term mental health services. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in 2007/08. Alternative Financing and Procurement The project has been approved as an alternative financing and procurement project. This means the construction work will be financed and carried out by the private sector, which will assume the financial risks of ensuring that the project is finished on time and on budget. The completed facility will be publicly owned, controlled and accountable. Framework for Planning, Financing and Procuring Infrastructure The government has made it clear that public hospitals, and also schools and water and sewage treatment facilities, will remain under public ownership and control. All aspects of the Niagara Health System project will be consistent with the principles of the government's Building a Better Tomorrow framework announced by Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan in July 2004. The guiding principles of the framework are: 1. The public interest is paramount. 2. Value for money must be demonstrable. 3. Appropriate public control/ownership must be preserved. 4. Accountability must be maintained. 5. All processes must be fair, transparent and efficient. ReNew Ontario The Niagara Health System project is being funded through ReNew Ontario - the government's five-year infrastructure investment strategy. Under this strategy, the province and its partners will invest more than $30 billion over the next five years in Ontario's public infrastructure. ReNew Ontario commits the government and its partners to investing $5 billion in health care by 2010. Over the next five years, the goal is to modernize Ontario's health infrastructure by updating equipment and expanding capacity to meet the needs of the province's growing and aging population. The long-term infrastructure investment plan is designed to support the government's goal of achieving better health for Ontarians. Contact: Jim McPeak Communications Branch (416) 212-7499 Disponible en français www.pir.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Wilson Lee, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8735; Jim McPeak, Communications Branch, (416) 212-7499