McGuinty Government Getting Results For London Patients
St. Joseph's Expansion Means Faster Access To Care, More High-Skill Jobs
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced that the government is speeding up access to health care for people in London by expanding the acute-ambulatory care wing at St. Joseph's hospital.
"For people in London, ensuring faster access to high-quality health care is a result that matters," said Premier McGuinty. "Through better access to care and high-skill jobs, this project will help build a better quality of life for families throughout southwestern Ontario."
Premier McGuinty joined hospital staff, community members, local officials and MPPs to kick off construction at St. Joseph's.
The first phase of redevelopment includes a new cataract suite, more short-stay beds, expanded urgent care, urology, endocrinology and diabetes services, and a records storage area. In total, more than 81,000 square feet of building space will be renovated. These improvements will help ensure London-area patients get faster access to care, closer to home.
An estimated 55 to 65 construction workers will be on site each day. This phase of the three-phase project is scheduled to wrap up in 2009.
"This milestone is an important one for St. Joe's and for residents of London and area," said Deb Matthews, London North Centre MPP. "Not only is the hospital now on strong financial footing, but we are a big step closer to having the building and equipment that will facilitate first-class care."
"This redevelopment project will allow staff to care for our patients in an environment conducive to delivering outstanding care and in one that facilitates healing," said Cliff Nordal, St. Joseph's President and CEO. "This partnership will ensure that our hospital renovations reflect the highest standards in the agreed timeframe for a fixed price."
Infrastructure Ontario will work with St. Joseph's to redevelop the hospital. Currently, the hospital has the lowest wait times in the province for hip- and knee-replacements, and ranks fifth in Ontario when it comes to reducing wait times for cataract surgeries.
Modernizing hospitals is the latest way the McGuinty government is working with Londoners to get results in health care. Other initiatives in London include:
- Funding 33 new nursing positions
- Supporting over 43,000 additional medical procedures in five key areas (cancer surgery, cardiac procedures, hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and MRI and CT scans) since 2004
- Creating two Family Health Teams consisting of nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to improve access to primary care.
"It's not about moving to the left or the right anymore, it's about moving forward -- and that's what we've done here in London," said Premier McGuinty. "When I look at how far we've come, I know there's no limit to what we can achieve when we work and dream and build, together."