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Premier Officially Opens New Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

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Premier Officially Opens New Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Canada’s First Completely Wireless Hospital Will Support People Living With Mental Illness, Provide Better Access To Care For Families

Office of the Premier

The new Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research will mean better access to better care for people in the Ottawa region living with mental illness, announced Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"It's a great pleasure to open this new facility -- because it means better health care and a higher quality of life -- especially for Ottawa-area families who have loved ones living with mental illness," said Premier McGuinty.

The Premier joined health care professionals and local community members today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new hospital and research centre.

As the first completely wireless hospital in Canada, Royal Ottawa will help to improve care for patients by giving doctors, nurses and researchers faster access to up-to-date patient information. The hospital will also house up to 188 beds and provide a more therapeutic environment for patients.

Some of the hospital's additional features include: updated patient rooms, common areas and furniture. Several courtyards were also created to give patients access to gardens that promote healing and reflection.

"I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this day possible," said Richard Patten, MPP for Ottawa Centre. "Not only did this project get completed on budget, but ahead of schedule. And that's a great testament to everyone involved."

"Twenty per cent of Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, George Smitherman. "The new hospital will mean better access for people who need mental health services."

"The new Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and research institute marks a new era for mental health, not only in the province, but through our research and education, we will make an impact worldwide," said Bruce Swan, CEO Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

The Royal Ottawa Redevelopment Project was completed on budget and six weeks ahead of schedule. Nortel/Ameritel designed and installed the state-of-the-art wireless technology throughout the hospital, with help from Telus. Telus will also provide the hospital with ongoing technological support.

Royal Ottawa is the first redevelopment project to be completed under Renew Ontario, the government's $30-billion infrastructure investment plan. Under this plan, the government and its partners will invest at least $5 billion over the next five years to improve health care facilities.

The new Royal Ottawa Hospital is the first of a number of expansions at Ottawa hospitals, including:

  • Doubling the size of Hôpital Montfort
  • Constructing a state-of-the-art critical care wing at the Ottawa Hospital
  • Building a new, expanded Regional Cancer Centre at the Ottawa Hospital and the Queensway Carleton Hospital
  • Building Roger's House at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, a palliative care home for children.

Modernizing hospitals in Ontario is just the latest example of how the McGuinty government is working on the side of families who want the best health care. Other initiatives include:

  • Creating 150 Family Health Teams to improve access to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals across the province
  • Speeding up access to care by funding an additional 657,000 medical procedures
  • Investing a record $1.54 billion a year in home care, which will provide an additional 95,700 Ontarians with short-term acute care in their homes and provide end-of-life care to another 6,000 clients.

"The redevelopment of the Royal Ottawa Hospital is an important part of our government's plan to modernize hospitals, upgrade medical equipment and speed up access to health care for people," said Premier McGuinty. "Not only will this hospital strengthen health care services in Ottawa, it will build a better quality of life for families for years to come."


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