McGuinty Government Announces Historic Investment In New Northern Health Sciences Centre
New Hospital Will Improve Quality Of Life For Northern Ontarian
THUNDER BAY -- The McGuinty government's unprecedented commitment of 80 per cent of the capital costs for the new Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre means better health services for northwestern Ontarians, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
"Our investment in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will improve the quality of life for thousands of northern Ontarians," said Premier McGuinty during the official opening of the facility. "It will deliver the health care northerners need, when and where they need it -- closer to home."
Premier McGuinty said his government's investment will also improve patient care and expand clinical capacity to better meet the health care needs of northern Ontarians.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is the largest hospital in northwestern Ontario. It has 375 acute-care beds, a regional cancer centre, mental health services and operates a very busy emergency department.
The new regional cancer centre will provide better access to cancer care for northern Ontarians by doubling the number of annual radiation and chemotherapy treatments provided by 2010.
On March 29, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman convened a summit with ministry officials, hospital administrators and volunteer board and foundation members to develop an action plan for wrapping up the redevelopment project.
Tom Closson, president and CEO of University Health Network, was named special advisor to liaise between the hospital and the ministry and will develop a plan to help Thunder Bay fulfil its role as a regional hospital with a teaching mandate.
"We're happy to announce this special arrangement with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to cover 80 per cent of the shareable costs of their redevelopment project," said Minister Smitherman. "We are confident that this announcement will ensure a bright future for the hospital and the communities it serves."
The Premier and Minister Smitherman were also joined by MPPs Michael Gravelle, Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay-Atikokan. The Premier recognized the MPPs for their hard work and dedication in making the new centre a reality.
"Today's announcement, combined with our commitment to the new northern medical school, will help create a state-of-the-art health system in the north where doctors and nurses are better able to provide the quality health care people deserve," said Premier McGuinty.
The Premier also emphasized the government's commitment to delivering results in health care across the province, including shorter wait times and better access to doctors and nurses.
"This is the right thing to do, with Ontarians, for Ontarians."