Province commits $1.442 million for QHC infrastructure projects

NEW FUNDING MPP Todd Smith speaks at a recent QHC meeting while CEO and President Mary Clare Egberts looks on. (Submitted Photo)

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith reaffirmed his government’s commitment to a new hospital in Prince Edward County while announcing nearly $1.5 million in new funding for infrastructure renewal at Trenton Memorial, Belleville General and North Hastings hospitals.

Smith announced Tuesday Quinte Health Care will be receiving an allocation of $1,442,292 in 2020-2021 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. The funding will support QHC to keep with hospital maintenance and repairs.

“Providing a reliable, safe and comfortable environment at QHC hospitals is a top priority for our government,” said Smith. “This annual infrastructure allocation, coupled with recent enhancements to base funding, will ensure these hospitals are well equipped to meet emergent health-care needs in our communities. I know these investments will positively affect patients and front-line health care workers.”

Brad Harrington, QHC Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, was pleased to receive the allocation, which represents a $226,511 increase over 2019-2020.

“We are pleased to receive these funds so that we can ensure our hospitals are in a good state of repair,” said Harrington. “Some of the projects this year’s funding will help with include the heating boiler replacement at Trenton Memorial Hospital, the dry sprinkler replacement at North Hastings Hospital, and the fire alarm panel upgrade at Belleville General Hospital. These are all important projects that will help keep our hospitals safe and running smoothly.”

The Province also remains committed to health care modernization in Prince Edward County as it continues to support QHC’s redevelopment plan for a new facility. Smith announced in June that the Ministry of Health has authorized the project to proceed into Stage 3 and consider detail drawings for the build.

Across the province, the Ontario government is investing $175 million this year to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals. This includes $50 million to address projects related to COVID-19 and other urgent priorities.

“Maintaining hospital infrastructure is another example of how our government is ensuring that Ontarians have access to health-care services they depend on, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our ongoing investments to support essential projects like repairing roofs and windows and adding more isolation spaces can make a big difference to a patient’s experience. It’s part of our plan to build the capacity we need to end hallway health care.”

As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world-class health care system into the 21st Century, the funding will not only address urgent needs but also assist with the ongoing response to COVID-19 through HVAC upgrades to enhance safety, increase capacity and bolster infection prevention and control measures. Ontario is investing an additional $7.4 million to address ongoing urgent and/or emergent infrastructure renewal needs for community health service providers who met specific criteria on a priority basis, through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund.