ST. CATHARINES – Today, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, along with Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, announced a substantial investment from the province to help cover historic working funds deficits at Niagara Health, as well as an investment through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance at Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.
To help strengthen the financial stability of public hospitals across the province, the Government of Ontario is providing up to $696.6 million this year to help cover historic working funds deficits of qualifying hospitals, with a focus on small, medium as well as specialty and rehabilitation hospitals. This includes $53,383,900 for Niagara Health.
This funding is a part of the over $1.2 billion investment previously announced to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring they can continue providing the high-quality care Ontarians need and deserve. This funding will also help to ensure that Ontario's hospitals are able to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
In addition, Niagara Health will receive $1,411,837, while Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre will receive $1,208,524 in the 21-22 fiscal year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. This funding will support critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance at both hospital sites.
"Ontario's hospitals have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is using every tool at our disposal to support them,” said Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health.
"This funding will ensure Ontario's hospitals can continue to provide high-quality care to all Ontarians and that our hospital system is ready to respond to any scenario this fall."
"These key investments at Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver demonstrate the commitment of our government to local health care and hospital infrastructure in Niagara," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
"The provincial funding supports also include West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in West Niagara through additional funds allocated to Hamilton Health Sciences."
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario's government has been working with its hospital partners to create unprecedented capacity and be ready to respond to any scenario. The government remains committed to supporting hospitals so that they can continue to care for Ontarians today and in the future.
"We are incredibly grateful to the Province of Ontario for its generous investments and support of high-quality healthcare here in Niagara," said Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO, Niagara Health.
"The working fund investment for Niagara Health that was announced today is unprecedented and will have a profound impact on our financial sustainability. Additionally, the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund will be critical in ensuring our facilities stay up to date and enable us to continue providing extraordinary care."
"We are sincerely grateful for this generous investment in our hospital and for the recognition of the essential role specialized rehabilitation plays in the lives of so many in our community," said Lynne Pay, CEO of Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.
"Despite the infrastructure challenges associated with an older hospital, we pride ourselves in providing the best and safest possible experience for our patients and staff and could not reach this goal without the assistance of the provincial government."
As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario's world class health care system into the 21st century, this funding will help hospitals address urgent issues such as upgrades or replacement of roofs, windows, security systems, backup generators and fire alarms. Projects will also support the hospitals in their ongoing response to COVID-19, such as updating HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, creating additional isolation space and negative air pressure flow rooms to increase capacity and enhancing infection prevention and control measures.
- A working funds deficit occurs when an organization’s current liabilities exceed their current assets. All hospitals that had a working funds deficit in 2019-20 qualified for this funding.
- To help strengthen the financial stability of public hospitals across the province, the Ontario government is providing up to $696.6 million this year to help cover historic working funds deficits of qualifying hospitals, with a focus on small, medium as well as specialty and rehabilitation hospitals.
- 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.
- For 2021-22, Ontario has increased the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund by three percent.
- As part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario’s hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, including on evenings and weekends.
- Under the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion in the hospital sector in 2021-2022, bringing the total additional investment in hospitals since the start of the pandemic to over $5.1 billion. This includes creating more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity and reduce occupancy pressures caused by COVID-19.