New Hospital Will Improve Access to High-Quality Health Care in the Niagara Region
“This is great news for South Niagara. With this new build, and the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital rebuild in West Niagara, the Niagara Region will have a significant number of brand-new health care facilities, which will ensure patients and their families receive the best possible care.” – Sam Oosterhoff, Ford Government MPP for Niagara West
News from the Government of Ontario
Posted October 28th, 2021
NIAGARA FALLS — The Ontario government is continuing to support the development of a new state-of-the-art hospital for patients and families in the Niagara region as part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care and protecting our progress by building a better connected health care system for all Ontarians.
Once complete, the new hospital will add more hospital beds and bring together acute care services, improving access to high-quality health care and making it easier for patients to receive the care they need closer to home.
“It is this government’s mission to fortify hospital capacity and ensure that Ontarians can receive world class health care, wherever they live in the Province,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“This new hospital gets us closer to providing the people of the Niagara region with direct access to the quality of health care they deserve and a hospital that will fit the needs of its growing population.”
With the Ontario government’s support, Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health have invited teams to respond to a request for proposals to design, build, finance and maintain the new South Niagara Hospital. This initiative is in alignment with our government’s largest infrastructure investment in schools, hospitals, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history.
Since 2018, Ontario has invested over $19.5 million towards planning the new hospital in Niagara Falls.
Currently, Niagara Health operates five separate campuses that serve approximately 450,000 residents across the Niagara region. Once completed, the new hospital will consolidate and expand acute care services, replacing outdated infrastructure with high tech facilities and supporting better, connected care in the region.
In addition to emergency, critical care and surgical services, South Niagara Hospital will feature several centres of excellence specializing in stroke, complex care, geriatrics and geriatric psychiatry, and wellness in aging.
To meet growing demand in the region, the new hospital is planned to have 469 beds, which is 156 more beds than the combined total number of beds at Niagara Health’s Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls campuses. Niagara Health will continue to operate the existing facility in St. Catharines, which was opened in 2013, along with the Welland campus.
“Supporting hospital infrastructure projects like the new South Niagara Hospital is a vital part of our government’s plan to end hallway health care and build a connected, patient-centred health care system that will support Ontarians for generations to come,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“The request for proposals brings us one step closer to a new hospital that will ensure patients and families in the Niagara region have access to the high-quality care they need and deserve, when and where they need it.”
To further support high-quality health care in Niagara Region, the government has increased Niagara Health’s operating funding for the third straight year. Niagara Health will receive over $8.4 million in additional operating funding starting this year, representing an increase of two per cent. The hospital will also receive over $1.4 million through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators.
“Communities are at the heart of everything we do,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “That is why our government is committed to investing in meaningful infrastructure projects that make a real difference in the health, well-being, and safety of Ontarians, including the South Niagara Hospital that we are celebrating today. In every corner of our province, we are getting shovels in the ground faster, building smarter, and expanding and enhancing critical infrastructure that will pave the way for Ontario to bounce back stronger than ever.”
The 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, outlined a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments for hospitals in 2021-22, ensuring our health care system is prepared to protect Ontario’s progress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes an increase of $778 million in funding to meet current and future demands for services, and ensures all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum one per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.
- Niagara Health is a large community hospital and has the fourth busiest Emergency Department in the province, with almost 200,000 unscheduled visits annually. Niagara Health performs the highest number of day surgeries or surgical cases in the region, with nearly 40,000 performed yearly and serves on average 802 inpatients per day.
- The South Niagara Hospital is working towards becoming the first WELL® certified healthcare facility in Canada, focused on the health and well-being of their staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, families and caregivers and the Niagara community.
- To ensure Ontario’s hospitals remain on stable financial footing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government made an investment of up to $696.6 million to help cover historic working funds deficits for qualifying public hospitals. Niagara Health received over $53 million as part of this initiative.
- As part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, in 2021-22 the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable hospitals and the community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, as part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need and reduce wait surgical times. Niagara Health has received over $469 million in one-time funding to support 1,585 CT operating hours and 1,805 MRI operating hours to help with diagnostic imaging recovery.
- As part of the province’s fall preparedness plan, Niagara Health received funding for up to 83 acute medical/surgical beds to help build additional capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Ontario government continues to make significant investments in Ontario’s hospitals as part of its plan to end hallway health care. This includes overall sector increases of two per cent in 2019-20, three per cent in 2020-2021 and most recently over three per cent in 2021-22.
- 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.
- The government is investing more than $22 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years for health infrastructure across Ontario that will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure.
“The release of the RFP for the new South Niagara Hospital is a is a key milestone towards the new build. This is great news for South Niagara. With this new build, and the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital rebuild in West Niagara, the Niagara Region will have a significant number of brand-new health care facilities, which will ensure patients and their families receive the best possible care.” – Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West
“The release of the RFP is a significant milestone and brings us one-step closer to delivering a state-of-the-art hospital as part of its vision to create a world-class, high-quality healthcare experience for the residents of Niagara. Together, with our government partners, we look forward to working closely over the coming months and thank everyone for their tireless efforts to get us here today.”– Lynn Guerriero, President and Chief Executive Officer, Niagara Health
“We’re proud to support delivery of this project – one that will be a significant investment in healthcare for the Niagara region, helping to centralize services and make healthcare more easily accessible for everyone. We will continue to work with Niagara Health to plan and deliver infrastructure that meets the needs of patients and the community, and which recognizes the important role played by technology in modern care. Today’s release of the RFP marks an exciting step forward in that direction.” – Michael Lindsay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Ontario
To read a media release from Niagara Health, the body that operates the region’s amalgamated hospital system, on this news, click on – https://www.niagarahealth.on.ca/site/news/2021/10/28/ontario-accepting-proposals-to-build-the-new-south-niagara-hospital-
Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates released the following comment this October 28th on the Ford government’s ‘South Niagara’ hospital announcement – “In this community, it’s been a long road but we’ve never given up the fight to get this hospital built. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer, but it can’t just be an announcement – now is the time to plan on getting shovels in the ground. People in Niagara can’t wait any longer for this hospital and we’re not done our campaign yet.”
A Brief Footnote – Niagara At Large will have more news and commentary on this story at later dates. Stay Tuned.
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