Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced Friday morning that QHC would receive a $1,215,781 allocation through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF).
The funding is part of a $175-million commitment to 131 hospitals this year through the HIRF. Kramp said the investments are timely and an important piece of the government’s ongoing effort to modernize Ontario’s world-class health care system.
The funding will provide for a repaired roof and windows at Belleville General Hospital, a new broiler at Trenton Memorial Hospital and a new building automation system-essential for air handling- at North Hastings Hospital.
“These investments will help ensure the patients in our local hospitals can receive the care that need in a safe and comfortable setting,” said Smith. “Seemingly small things like well-functioning roofs, windows or heating and air conditioning systems can make worlds of difference to a patient’s experience.”
Smith added the upgrades might allow QHC to save money on utilities costs and reinvest directly in front-line care, creating a positive impact for the patients and their families.
“Ontario has a plan to build a connected and sustainable public health care system centred on the needs of patients, including over $27 billion over 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects,” said Kramp. “Maintaining hospital infrastructure is one more example of how we are working toward ensuring that Ontarians have the health-care services they can depend on while building the capacity we need to end hallway health care.”
QHC Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Brad Harrington was pleased with the immediate benefit through the HIRF allocation.
“This is exceptional news espcially during the festive season. Infrastructure dollars are essential to our hospital operations and our ability to extend exceptional patient care at QHC hospitals,” Harrington said. “For the past few years, we have been under-funded in this area – and today’s announcement brings QHC’s HIRF up to a more equitable level above $1.2 million. That’s an increase of $500,000 compared to the level received over the past few years.”
Although Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) isn’t part of the short-term infrastructure plan, it’s for sure part of the long-term plan which includes the redevelopment of QHC’s PECMH. Smith noted the Ministry of Health continues to have ongoing discussions with QHC regarding the hospital redevelopment project and the parties have agreed on its scope, based on QHC’s Stage 2 functional program submission. The ministry is in the review process to move the project onto the next stage.
Infrastructure was also on tap at a 2020 Budget consultation in Wellington last week where more money for roads and bridges was a main theme.
“A need for more money for infrastructure was a main theme from all three municipalities. Mayor Ferguson shared Prince Edward County’s concerns about flooding and he also made a big pitch for Hwy 49,” Smith expressed. “We wanted to have a consultation in Prince Edward County to give local residents, organizations and businesses the opportunity to give their input on the 2020 Budget. The finance committee will be in Belleville in the new year for a broader consultation, but not in Prince Edward County. Wednesday’s consultation was the first time I can recall since I’ve been an MPP that the Ministry of Finance has hosted a budget consultation in the county.”
The information shared Wednesday will be considered as the government develops the Province’s 2020 budget.
For more information on the consultation please visit https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2019/12/ontario-government-holds-budget-consultation-in-prince-edward-county.html