The Ontario government is investing $1,005,000 this year to support critical health care infrastructure upgrades, repairs and maintenance at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH). This funding is part of the government’s $182.6 million investment provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF).
“Creating a better physical environment for patients is critical to their recovery and care experience,” said MPP David Piccini. “This funding will ensure that patients can continue to access the care they need in safe, comfortable environments. These crucial investments will help build the capacity needed to end hallway health care, while ensuring our hospitals have the tools they need to improve the quality of care for patients.”
The government is providing $175 million to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and $7.6 million to community health service providers through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund. Funding from the province allows its health care system partners to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators. A total of $50 million from the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund will be used by hospitals for urgent projects, including those that support the health system response to COVID-19, such as upgrading HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, and improving infection prevention and control measures.
“Maintaining a hospital’s infrastructure is critical to its ability to sustain and grow high-quality patient care,” said Susan Walsh, NHH President and CEO. “NHH will mark the 18th anniversary of its opening later this month. As an 18-year-old structure, it is not surprising that our infrastructure needs are increasing each year. As such, our team relies on the annual Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) to support critical improvements. We prioritize these carefully and this year we prioritized a much-needed repair of our roof, which is now under way. On behalf of our team and our Board of Directors, and all those who rely on NHH for care, thank you for the continued investment made in NHH through the HIRF and a particular thanks for the investment announced today for 2021/22. We will be applying these dollars directly to the $2.5-million dollar repair and replacement now under way. These dollars will directly help to sustain a safe and dry hospital for this community for years to come.”
The government continues to make record investments to support hospitals across the province and ensure the health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario. In March 2021, the government committed up to $696.6 million in funding to help cover historic working funds deficits and strengthen the financial stability of hospitals across the province.
Through the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, the government is providing a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments to hospitals in 2021-22. This includes funding to create more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity, as well as an increase of $778 million in operational funding to ensure all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.