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Humber River approved for 700-bed high-tech hospital

TORONTO – Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) has received approval from the Government of Ontario to build a modern, regional acute care hospital as the centerpiece of what the hospital calls its ‘New Model of Care.’

Humber River Regional Hospital was created in 1997 through the voluntary merger of Humber Memorial, Northwestern General, and York-Finch General Hospitals. However, recently the HRRH decided its future would be best served through the creation of a centralized site with modernized facilities.

Said HRRH Board Chair Jack Kay: “Our New Model of Care is the best choice to meet the future needs of the over 800,000 people in our catchment area. It includes a technologically advanced acute care hospital with approximately 700 beds, more accessible primary and ambulatory care in the community, and a synergy of staff and physician talent.”

The Government of Ontario has approved the new Humber River Regional Hospital 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 for ensuring that the project is finished on time and on budget. The completed facility will be publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.

The government is also supporting the redevelopment of one of the hospital’s sites for ambulatory care services. Construction on both projects is expected to begin in 2009/10.

HRRH President & CEO Dr. Rueben Devlin (pictured at left) noted that “the Board of Directors and the hospital’s Senior Team have never wavered from their determination to bring the best health care possible to our community. And the support for our proposal by our staff, physicians and community partners has been outstanding.

“It’s been a long and difficult challenge to get to this point, but the Government’s announcement is recognition of how far we have progressed as an organization over the past several years.”

“Our physician team is thrilled – we’ve been waiting a long, long time for this,” said Humber River Chief of Staff Dr. Patrick Safieh. “The new hospital will help us recruit and retain top talent, and provide the patient care benefits that come from having a critical mass of medical staff in a single site. This plan will also help alleviate some of the current pressures facing Emergency Departments in the Greater Toronto Area.”

“We are aware that, as with any big change like this, it will be unsettling for some in our community,” Kay continued. “We are sensitive to those concerns, and we will address them as we move ahead with this much-needed improvement for healthcare in the GTA.”