FORT FRANCES – NEWS – The Ontario government is providing up to $696.6 million in funding to strengthen public hospitals’ financial stability. This year’s funding will help cover historic working funds deficits of qualifying hospitals focusing on small, medium as well as specialty and rehabilitation hospitals. This includes over $5.5 million for Riverside Health Care.
“Our government is committed to helping hospitals in Northwestern Ontario combat financial pressures created by COVID-19,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River. “We stand behind our health care and frontline workers the Rainy River District and will continue to use every tool at our disposal to assist wherever we can.”
“Today’s announcements ensure our organization is able to continue to provide quality health care for the people of the Rainy River District,” said Henry Gauthier, President and CEO of Riverside Health Care. “We thank the provincial government and our MPP, the Honourable Greg Rickford, for their continued support of the health care system both provincially and across the Rainy River District.”
The Ontario government is also investing $148,664 this year to support critical health care infrastructure upgrades, repairs, and maintenance in Fort Frances. This funding is part of the government’s $175 million investment provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF to help Ontario’s hospitals address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and backup generators. A total of $50 million from the HIRF will be used by hospitals for urgent projects, including those that support the health system response to COVID-19, such as upgrading HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, and improving infection prevention and control measures.
“Upgrading and maintaining hospitals and community health infrastructure is one more way our government is ensuring Ontarians receive exceptional care when they need it and closer to home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These crucial investments will build the capacity needed to end hallway health care, while ensuring our hospitals have the tools they need to improve the quality of care for patients and respond to COVID-19.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Ontario has been working with hospital partners to create unprecedented capacity. Through the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, the government is providing a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments to hospitals in 2021-22. This includes funding to create more than 3,100 additional hospital beds, as well as a $778 million increase in operational funding to ensure publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to meet patient needs and ensure high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario. Of the $778 million funding for 2021-2022, the Ontario Health North region hospitals received $33 million. The government remains committed to supporting hospitals so that they can continue to care for Ontarians today and in the future.
- 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.
- 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.
- The government is providing $175 million to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.
- The government is investing more than $22 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years for health infrastructure projects across Ontario that will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure.