AUDIO: Province puts $7.1-million to local hospital infrastructure

Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton on July 13, 2021 (Photo from Facebook Live event)

With hospitals all over Ontario getting cash for infrastructure upgrades, some of that cash is being sent to southwestern Ontario.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton made the announcement on Friday morning – trumpeting what the hospitals would be able to do with the money.

“We’ve got some aging facilities in the region,” McNaughton told LondonNewsToday.com. “We announced about a million dollars for a new roof over the emergency department (in Newbury), and in Strathroy, they’re going to be getting about a million dollars to finish some elevator repair and upgrades so those are the types of things we’re doing with this investment.”

The province is sending $977,372 to Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital,  $978,685 to Four Counties Health Services Corporation in Newbury, and $1,963,286 for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Regionally, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is getting $988,548, Windsor Regional Hospital will receive $1,350,409 and Erie Shores Healthcare will receive $345,382 for infrastructure renewal.

“We’re planning on spending billions on dollars in upgrading hospitals, building new hospitals, adding departments on to hospitals over the next ten years,” McNaughton said. “We’re seeing because of the pandemic many people leaving the big cities and coming to our small towns, so it’s important that the government’s there to invest to grow these hospitals.”

Other uses for the money include window replacements, security systems upgrades, fire alarms, and backup generators.

“Upgrading and maintaining hospitals and community health infrastructure is one more way our government is ensuring the people of Ontario receive the exceptional care when they need it and closer to home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said in a news release. “These crucial investments will help 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 continue responding to COVID-19.”

The cash from this announcement comes from the same fund as upgrades announced for London hospitals last month.

519 Podcast host Craig Needles spoke to McNaughton about the announcement and Ontario’s healthcare system.