Ontario is investing in the health and safety of hospital patients in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties by addressing urgent repair and maintenance needs at Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals in 2019-2020.
Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced December 20th that QHC would receive a $1,215,781 allocation through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF). The funding will provide for a repaired roof and windows at Belleville General Hospital, a new boiler 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 they 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.
The funding is part of a $175-million commitment to 131 hospitals this year through the HRIF. 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.
“Ontario has a plan to build a connected and sustainable public health-care system centered 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.”
That long-term infrastructure plan includes the redevelopment of QHC’s Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. Smith noted the Ministry of Health continues to have ongoing discussions with QHC regarding the hospital and the parties have agreed on its scope, based on QHC’s Stage 2 functional program submission. The ministry is in the reviews process to move the project on to the next stage.
QHC Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Brad Harrington was pleased with the immediate benefit through the HIRF allocation.
“This is exceptional news – and 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 HRIF 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.”