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New hospital planned for Markham-Stouffville

MARKHAM, Ont. – Ontario has announced a major provincial government investment that will help redevelop the Markham Stouffville Hospital and build a new Salvation Army Grace Hospital York Region.

Tony Wong, MPP for Markham, made the announcement on behalf of Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman.

“This provincial government investment will give local residents better access to a full range of hospital services,” said Wong. “This project is important to everyone in our community.”

The redevelopment project includes both renovations to the existing Markham Stouffville Hospital and the construction of a new Salvation Army Grace Hospital York Region on the same site.

The renovations will expand Markham Stouffville’s capacity for acute care, mental health programs and emergency medicine, while also expanding its diagnostic capacity. As part of this initiative, Markham Stouffville Hospital proposes to transfer its complex continuing care and rehabilitation beds to the Salvation Army Grace Hospital York Region. Work on the project is slated to begin in 2009.

The Markham Stouffville/Salvation Army Grace Hospital project has been approved as an alternative financing and procurement project. This means the construction work will be financed and carried out by the private sector, which will assume the financial risks of ensuring that the project is finished on time and on budget. The completed facility will be publicly owned, controlled and accountable.

“The McGuinty government is re-building Ontario’s public infrastructure, and this project is an essential part of our plan to modernize hospitals, reduce waiting times and upgrade medical equipment in this area and throughout the province,” said Caplan. “Our infrastructure investments are helping us build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous province.”

“We’re very pleased with the opportunity to work with the Markham Stouffville Hospital, the Town of Markham and the larger community to create a new health resource for Markham Stouffville and York Region that is unique in Canada,” said Major Dennis Brown, the president and CEO of the Grace. “We’ll bring our skills and knowledge to join the local community in responding to the needs of a growing and aging population. The Salvation Army and the Grace Board of Trustees are very pleased with this opportunity to contribute to the transformation of healthcare in Ontario.”

“This is an exciting day for Markham Stouffville Hospital Corporation and we thank the government of Ontario for making today possible,” said Don Twiner, chairman of the MSH Board of Directors.

“This is a major boost to our staff and physicians. They have provided exemplary care during the challenges brought on by the unprecedented growth of our surrounding communities,” said Janet M. Beed, president and CEO of MSH.

“We’re extremely excited about developing an integrated health and wellness campus with the Salvation Army Toronto Grace Hospital and the Town of Markham; its benefits will be felt far beyond Markham, Stouffville and Uxbridge.”

“This announcement marks another critical investment by the province in the healthcare needs of one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario,” said Tariq Asmi, executive director of the GTA-905 Healthcare Alliance. “The government should be congratulated for supporting new hospital projects for virtually all of the eleven alliance hospitals.”

“The ReNew Ontario plan will make it possible for many hospitals to undertake much-needed capital improvements to facilities that, across Ontario, average 43 years old,” said Hilary Short, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association. “Innovative financing models allow hospitals to harness private sector capital and expertise and move forward quickly with projects that will benefit patients and their communities.”

Under the province’s ReNew Ontario infrastructure investment plan, the McGuinty government and its partners are investing $5 billion over the next five years to improve Ontario’s health care facilities.