New Bridgepoint Hospital gets green
light from province
TORONTO – David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal,
confirmed the government of Ontario’s commitment to build a new
Bridgepoint Hospital facility for complex care and rehabilitation at
Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street in Toronto.
The new facility, part of Bridgepoint’s larger site redevelopment plan,
has been in the planning stages for more than three years and will lay
the foundation for Ontario’s healthcare system to provide 21st century
healthcare to the fastest growing segment of health system users –
people with complex chronic disease and disability.
The redevelopment plan calls for the building of a complex care and
complex rehabilitation hospital expressly designed for patients affected
by diseases and disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes,
HIV/AIDS, acquired brain injury, stroke, cancer, end stage renal
disease, and other complex illnesses. It will also provide improved
rehabilitation capacity for important procedures like hip and knee
surgeries and other interventions required by an aging population.
The new Bridgepoint Health facilities will ‘change the world’ for
complex healthcare delivery by providing facilities specifically
designed to serve this population.
In his remarks, Minister Caplan stated that, “This Government
announcement will give residents better access to complex continuing
care and rehabilitation services that are so important to everyone in
our community. This project and other hospital projects we have
announced are benefiting people and communities all over the province.”
“This is an
incredibly important announcement for people with complex chronic
illness and disability. Today, we have a commitment from the government
of Ontario that the unique care needs of this rapidly growing patient
population will be met, both now and in the future,” said Marian Walsh
(pictured at left), President and CEO, Bridgepoint Health.
“Our patients today, and the thousands more that we will serve in the
future, need complex chronic disease management and rehabilitation
treatments in facilities that are adequate to serve their medical and
therapeutic needs.” The new hospital facility will relieve the
congestion of the current hospital building, upgrade treatment
capabilities through the use of advanced medical and information
technologies, and enhance Bridgepoint’s research and education mandate.
The new facilities will also be home to the only complex care research
institute in the country, allowing researchers to develop new approaches
to care and treatment and enable Bridgepoint to train the next
generation of healthcare providers in this burgeoning new frontier of
The expanded campus will integrate the community with Bridgepoint
Health,by adaptively reusing one of Toronto’s most significant buildings
– the historic Don Jail. The Jail will be refurbished, while respecting
its heritage elements, turning it from a foreboding place into a
community gathering space, offering access to health promotion, disease
prevention and chronic illness management services.
“This is an important step in terms of health care sustainability in the
Province, by refocusing the attention of the healthcare community on the
people who account for over 60% of all healthcare dollars spent today,”
said Ms. Walsh. “Today’s announcement is good news for us, for the
people we serve and for Ontario’s healthcare system.”
BRIDGEPOINT HEALTH is an integrated health services organization focused
on providing a continuum of care for people who require specialized
complex care. The Bridgepoint Health network comprises Bridgepoint
Hospital; the Bridgepoint Health Research Institute, the Bridgepoint
Centre for Living (a planned long-term care centre), Bridgepoint
Community Rehab (a not-for-profit hospital and community-based
rehabilitation service) and the Bridgepoint Health Foundation which
supports the programming and development goals of Bridgepoint Health.
Complex chronic illness refers to people who have three or more
simultaneous chronic conditions. These are diseases such as diabetes,
heart disease, cancer, arthritis and HIV/AIDS.
There have been no cures for major illnesses in the last 50 years (the
last disease eradicated was smallpox in 1954.) However, new diagnostic
and life-saving technologies, medicines and treatments mean that a long
list of diseases are no longer terminal upon diagnosis, but chronic. As
a result, Canadians are living longer, but often with multiple chronic
The next major challenge in Canadian healthcare will focus on restoring
the greatest possible degree of health to those who are affected by
these chronic and complex conditions and their related disabilities.
Complex chronic disease currently consumes two-thirds of all healthcare
spending – creating a demand that will only increase as the population
ages. One-third of Canadians over the age of 60 suffer from complex
It is currently estimated that there are 250,000 patients in Ontario
with complex chronic illness. 60,000 of these live in Toronto. 20,000
are at severe stages, and another 18,000 have a severe disability.
Toronto’s existing complex care facilities can accommodate only 3,000
patients annually. Many complex patients are unnecessarily ending up in
emergency rooms simply because they have nowhere else to go.
Right now in Ontario, it is conservatively estimated that 10-20% of all
patients in the acute care system are complex patients who do not belong
there and are not getting the right kind of care.
The current healthcare system has many of the resources needed to
effectively treat patients with complex chronic illness. However, what
is needed is improved alignment and coordination of these resources.
Research in this fast-growing area of health care is only beginning. In
2005, Bridgepoint Health Research Institute received the first-ever
research grant for studies in complex chronic disease and disability.
Bridgepoint Health’s vision is to become Canada’s leader in complex care
and complex rehabilitation. Bridgepoint is creating an integrated
network of services that include a focus on disease prevention and
health promotion, leading-edge medical and rehabilitation care, and
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