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Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is spending $182.6 million this year on critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 133 hospitals and 63 community health service providers across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects at hospitals.
“Upgrading and maintaining hospitals and community health infrastructure is one more way our government is ensuring Ontarians receive the exceptional care when they need it and closer to home,” said Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
“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 and continue responding to COVID-19.”
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.
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.
“The hospital sector greatly appreciates the investment in hospital infrastructure, announced today,” said Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association. “With the fourth wave of the pandemic underway and longstanding capacity pressures growing on hospitals, this investment will ensure funds are available for much-needed equipment upgrades, building repairs, and to extend the life of all hospital facilities at a time when hospitals are doing everything possible to maintain and enhance access to vital frontline services.”
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.
Community health facilities are publicly funded and provide a range of programs to patients across the province, including primary care, community mental health and addictions services, allied health care such as physical therapy and respiratory therapy, and programs and services delivered by a public health unit.
For 2021-22, Ontario has increased the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund by three per cent.