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The Ontario Ministry of Health announced on Thursday a $182-million investment this year to support Ontario hospital infrastructure upgrades, repairs and maintenance – $10 million of which will go to UHN.
Sylvia Jones, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at Toronto General Hospital to announce this year's Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF), which will be distributed to 131 hospitals and 65 community health service providers across the province.
The $10 million allocated to UHN will fund necessary maintenance projects that keep UHN sites safe and accessible for patients, staff and visitors.
"This funding is essential to the operations of our hospital sites and integral to supporting UHN as a leader in the delivery of high-quality patient care to the most complex patients in the healthcare system," Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO, said at Thursday's announcement in front of TGH's Gerrard Street entrance.
"With this investment, we are well positioned to continue to enhance the physical infrastructure of the hospital to improve the patient experience, which is essential for healing and recovery, as well as provide a safe and comfortable environment for all members of TeamUHN."
This year's HIRF will allow UHN's Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (FM-PRO) Department to lead dozens of HIRF-funded projects from replacing air handling units, which ensure clean, fresh air circulates throughout hospitals, to restoring loading docks that receive life-saving supplies and equipment every day.
It will also fund the repair of TGH's Gerrard Street entrance – where Thursday's announcement took place – which involves replacing the revolving doors to ensure patients, staff and visitors have an accessible and comfortable entryway to the hospital.
According to Ian McDermott, Executive Director, FM-PRO, HIRF is "an incredibly important funding source that keeps hospitals running."
"Things like repairing revolving doors, roof and boiler replacements may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about funding our healthcare system, but these projects are crucial to delivering the high-quality patient care University Health Network is known for," Ian said. "A hospital's physical environment plays a vital role in the patient experience.
"We at FM-PRO are enormously grateful that the Government of Ontario continues this ongoing support of crucial renewal projects."
The government is providing $175 million to hospitals through HIRF and more than $7.6 million to community health service providers through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund.
"Ensuring Ontario's hospitals and community health infrastructure are upgraded and modernized is vital to ensuring Ontarians can continue to receive the care they expect and deserve," said Minister Jones.
"This funding will help build the capacity needed to end hallway health care and ensure the province's health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario."