Ontario is investing in the health and safety of patients as it addresses urgent upgrades, repairs and maintenance to help modernize 131 hospitals across the province.
Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at Niagara Health —- St. Catharines Site to announce that Ontario will invest $175 million this year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to help hospitals across the province maintain their infrastructure and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients to receive care. As part of this investment, Niagara Health will receive nearly $1.7 million to help support projects that will increase the reliability of the electrical backup systems in case of a power failure, including retrofitting a switch gear breaker, as well as refacing the building and replacing the roof.
“These investments will help ensure that patients in Niagara and across Ontario can receive the care they need in a safe and comfortable setting,” said Elliott. “Seemingly small things like well-functioning roofs, windows or heating and air conditioning systems, fire alarms and backup generators can make the world of difference to a patient’s experience. This funding will help ensure that hospitals across Ontario are able to make the needed upgrades and improvements, so patients and families have access to the reliable, quality care they expect and deserve.”
As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world class health care system into the 21st century, this funding will help hospitals to address urgent issues.
“Ontario has a plan to build a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients, including investing $27 billion over 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects,” said Elliott. “Maintaining hospital infrastructure is one more example of how we are working towards ensuring that Ontarians have the health care services they can depend on while building the capacity we need to end hallway health care.”
“Infrastructure upgrades aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when people think of health care, but these structural investments are important factors in providing safe, quality care for our patients and families,” said Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara Health and President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health System. “We are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Health and Minister Elliott for joining us today and partnering with us to enhance our facilities and local health care.”
Along with public funding, philanthropic donations are a key way that hospital foundations in Ontario, across Canada, and around the world secure the necessary capital to fund major upgrades and development. To help hospitals secure the funding needed to meaningfully improve the patient experience, and in addition to the $27 billion Ontario will invest over the next 10 years, the government is updating the hospital naming directive so that hospitals in Ontario are no longer required to obtain approval from the Minister of Health prior to adopting new corporate or business names. This change recognizes that named recognition meaningfully motivates philanthropy and will facilitate increased donations to hospital foundations for major upgrades and development.
“Philanthropic giving is an essential part of hospital funding in Ontario and the generosity of individual donors has helped shape the health care system as it exists today,” said Anthony Dale, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association. “Donor naming opportunities benefit the entire community, providing investments in hospital infrastructure, equipment and programs that patients need and allowing for growth and innovation in hospitals that could not otherwise occur.”
To ensure that any changes to corporate or business names respect the interests of local communities, Ontario has provided each hospital with a clear set of expectations related to hospital naming activities. These include developing and putting in place a naming policy and ensuring meaningful consultation with stakeholders and the local community, among others.