Buildings of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance are receiving nearly $1.5 million in “bricks and mortar” upgrades through the provincial Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.
Gary Switzer, Chief Executive Officer of the Erie St. Clair LHIN that administrates the funding said his group “is pleased to see our local community hospitals being supported through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. These investments will allow more funding to be redirected to where it matters most – frontline care.”
All three hospital corporations of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance are receiving funding with
St. Joseph’s Health Services receiving $576,873, Sydenham District Hospital $511,642 and the Public General Hospital Society of Chatham: $361,290.
Alliance Vice President Sarah Padfield said the funding is allocated according to needs established through an assessment process operated through the province.
“Our facilities are graded and the ministry grants funds for projects we suggest according to known needs,” she said.
“The province went through the same process with schools some years ago as it identified buildings in need. Parts of the Wallaceburg and Chatham campuses are about 60 years old and require lots of work.”
Padfield said the funds are particularly needed at the Sydenham campus.
“Wallaceburg is in the bottom half of facilities in the province in terms of condition index. The building doesn’t owe us anything but it’s at the end of its usefulness and needs to be replaced.
The funding will be used for projects including roof replacements and new windows, upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, the upgrading of back-up generators and upgraded fire alarm systems and other work needed to address requirements under the Ontario Building Code and Ontario Fire Code.
In the 2015 budget, the government committed to providing more than $11 billion in hospital capital grants over 10 years, including grants administered through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. This funding is an annual allocation to assist hospitals in renewing their hospital facilities through minor infrastructure projects. These investments will allow more funding to be redirected to frontline care, resulting in improved patient experiences.”
In 2014-15, the Ontario government increased the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to $125 million – more than doubling its investment from $56.2 million the year before. It has maintained the fund at $125 million in 2015-16.