New Cancer Care Centre And Hospital Expansion In Barrie To Support Simcoe/Muskoka Region's Population Growth

Archived Release

New Cancer Care Centre And Hospital Expansion In Barrie To Support Simcoe/Muskoka Region's Population Growth

Ministry of Infrastructure

Provincial Investment Will Reduce Waiting Times, Improve Treatment For Area Residents BARRIE, ON, Sept. 29 - A new, state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre at Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital will bring residents of Barrie, Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound regions improved access to quality treatment, thanks to a major provincial government investment announced today by Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan. The government has also committed to the first phase of the hospital expansion around the new Cancer Care Centre. "This government investment will improve access to cancer treatment for residents of Barrie and other Simcoe-area communities by supporting construction of a new cancer treatment centre and expansion for other key service areas at the Royal Victoria Hospital," said Caplan. "The McGuinty government is rebuilding Ontario's public infrastructure to meet current needs and be prepared for future growth. 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," Caplan said. "Our infrastructure investments are helping us build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous province." "This project is part of the government's plan to ensure that people in this community and throughout Ontario have access to the modern, effective health care they need and deserve," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. The Ontario government has approved the cancer treatment centre and first-phase expansion at Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital as an Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) 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. When construction of the treatment centre and hospital expansion has been completed, the new facility will be publicly owned, controlled and accountable. Construction is scheduled to start in 2008. "What an exciting day for this community! This is a major milestone as RVH and the government embark on a new path toward accessible, quality health care for residents of this region," said RVH President and CEO Janice Skot. "RVH faces enormous challenges due to the staggering population growth. This expansion is critical in allowing us to meet the needs of area residents. They will be able to get the care they need and deserve, as close to home as possible." "We congratulate the government for its commitment to build a new cancer centre in Barrie, as well as beginning to expand the hospital," said Terry Sullivan, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. "With this new centre, patients in Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound regions 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). "The government's ReNew Ontario plan is making it possible for many hospitals to move forward with much-needed capital improvements to facilities that - across Ontario - average 43 years old across Ontario." 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 CANCER CARE CENTRE AND HOSPITAL EXPANSION TO SUPPORT SIMCOE/MUSKOKA REGION'S POPULATION GROWTH The Royal Victoria Hospital serves Barrie residents and patients from a huge geographical region that includes Simcoe County and the districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound. The City of Barrie's population currently stands at 125,000, and is growing rapidly. Simcoe County will grow by 250,000 people by 2031. Downtown Barrie has been identified in the government's draft Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as a key growth area and a focus for infrastructure investment and intensification. The hospital's team includes more than 200 physicians, 1,800 staff members and 1,100 dedicated volunteers, and its programs and services include cancer care, surgical services, critical care, mental health, rehabilitation services and women's and children's programs. The hospital has 297 beds, and its emergency department receives more than 80,000 patient visits per year. The Government of Ontario has committed its support to build a new cancer treatment centre with capacity for at least three radiation treatment machines as well as expand the hospital around the cancer centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Construction is expected to begin in 2008. Alternative Financing and Procurement The project has been approved as an Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) 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 new cancer treatment centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital 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 new cancer treatment centre and first-phase hospital expansion at Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital is part of ReNew Ontario, the government's five-year infrastructure investment strategy. Under this strategy, the province and its partners will invest $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. Places to Grow Places to Grow is the government's commitment to plan for the more than four million additional people expected to live in Ontario by 2031, in a way that builds strong communities and ensures infrastructure is in place to support growth. Disponible en français www.pir.gov.on.caFor further information: Wilson Lee, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8735; Shannon McFadyen, Communications Branch, (416) 325-1316