Toronto (Sept. 30, 2005) - The following Letter-to-the-Editor appeared in The Hamilton Spectator on September 30, 2005

Hamilton Health Sciences Centre is considering a bond strategy to finance its capital renovations. This is a strategy that worked successfully for UHN's capital redevelopment project in the late 1990s, benefiting Ontario patients.

At the time, the government's priority was on funding hospital capital projects that were mandated by the Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC). As a non-HSRC directed hospital, UHN was facing a lengthy wait for capital funding before we could replace our deteriorating, inefficient clinical facilities.

For UHN, bond financing provided an immediate approach to help us achieve our capital redevelopment plans. In 1998, UHN issued a public bond and in a mere four days, successfully concluded $281 million in bond financing to be repaid over 25 years. This allowed us to proceed with the approximately $349 million worth of construction over a five-year period. While this was not all financed by the bond issue, we believe that our ability to deliver on time and on budget encouraged donors, the government and others to invest in our infrastructure.

This financing approach has not led to a loss in public ownership or public jobs at any of our three sites. Today, patients are receiving their care in the state-of-the-art, clinical facilities located at the Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospitals. The Princess Margaret Hospital had already been constructed on University Avenue with a new facility funded from approximately $50 million in donor funds and $230 million from the government.

Originally signed by

Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO

Mr. Kevin Empey, Executive Vice President, Clinical Support and Corporate Services

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636

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