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Ontario invests $114 million in new Brampton hospital

TORONTO – The Ontario government has announced additional investments to help the long-awaited Brampton Civic Hospital get ready to open its doors this fall.

“The new site will have a state-of-the-art emergency department that will have an immediate impact in the community, accommodating 90,000 visits each year,” said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. “This will improve access to emergency care so patients in the community will get the care they need, when they need it.

“This new hospital is a crown jewel for Brampton and Ontario,” Smitherman added. “We need a big push to make sure that the hospital thrives. I’ll be out there encouraging the good people of Brampton to revitalize local fundraising efforts.”

The government announced that it will:

• invest an additional $101 million in capital and $13 million in one-time operating funds;

• maintain the presence of investigator Ken White (formerly CEO of Trillium Health, in Toronto), and ask his team to continue to provide expertise to support the opening; and

• engage the community with regular communications on the project’s progress through the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

This fall, the Brampton Civic site of the William Osler Health Centre will open with 479 beds, including 62 beds to improve access to emergency care. The total number will increase to 527 in 2009/10, 570 in 2010/11, and 608 in 2011/12. The new Brampton Civic site will also almost double the area’s ambulatory care capacity from the current 242,000 visits a year to over 400,000 visits a year by 2011/12.

“The residents of Brampton will have one of the finest hospitals in Ontario this fall,” said Gordon Laschinger, Chair of the Board at the William Osler Health Centre. “[The government’s] investment means that we will be able to provide residents of Brampton the highest quality healthcare available. “

The minister also announced that Ken White will remain in his role as investigator to provide advice and guidance to the hospital board.

In December, White was appointed as an investigator under the Public Hospitals Act to lead a team of experts to work with the William Osler Health Centre and the community to ensure a smooth transition and help make the new hospital operational as quickly as possible.

The Central West Local Health Integration Network, responsible for planning, funding and coordinating local health care services, will provide monthly reports on the hospital’s progress to the community. “The Brampton Civic Hospital site is crucial to meeting the healthcare needs of a growing population in Brampton,” said Joe McReynolds, chair of the Central West LHIN. “The government’s investments, along with Ken White’s guidance and leadership, will help to ensure the timely completion of this project.”

The William Osler Health Centre redevelopment is the largest hospital construction projects in Ontario. Upon successful completion of the Civic site, the community and government will then focus on redeveloping the Lynch Street site.