Niagara West MPP visits Niagara Health with $53M cheque from Ontario

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Published September 30, 2021 at 10:37 am

Niagara Health got a significant financial boost yesterday (September 29) when Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff stopped in with a $53,383,900 cheque from the Ontario government.

Appearing with Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Oosterhoff said the cheque from the province was to help cover historic working funds deficits at Niagara Health, as well as an investment through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance at Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

Given that the government is providing up to $696.6 million this year to help cover historic working funds deficits of qualifying hospitals through their Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, the Niagara health unit’s portion represents 7.6 per cent of the province-wide funding – a hugely significant chunk.

“These key investments at Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver demonstrate the commitment of our government to local health care and hospital infrastructure in Niagara,” said Oosterhoff.

There was good news for Grimsby, too, as Oosterhoff added, “The provincial funding supports also include West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in West Niagara through additional funds allocated to Hamilton Health Sciences.”

Not surprisingly, Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO of Niagara Health, was excited about the announcement.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Province of Ontario for its generous investments and support of high-quality healthcare here in Niagara,” said Guerriero.

“The working fund investment for Niagara Health that was announced today is unprecedented and will have a profound impact on our financial sustainability. Additionally, the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund will be critical in ensuring our facilities stay up to date and enable us to continue providing extraordinary care.”

Equally happy was Lynne Pay, CEO of Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, who said, “We are sincerely grateful for this generous investment in our hospital and for the recognition of the essential role specialized rehabilitation plays in the lives of so many in our community.”

“Despite the infrastructure challenges associated with an older hospital, we pride ourselves in providing the best and safest possible experience for our patients and staff and could not reach this goal without the assistance of the provincial government.”

A working funds deficit occurs when an organization’s current liabilities exceed their current assets. All hospitals that had a working funds deficit in 2019-20 qualified for this funding.

(Photo of Sam Oosterhoff, top, and Lynn Guerriero, below, courtesy of Niagara Health Twitter)

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