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Funding coming to area hospitals

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Nearly $1.4 million is coming to local hospitals to help maintain their infrastructure says the Ontario government.

“It’s all about the patients,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. “These are little things that help make the patient experience better. The money is coming to North Bay, Mattawa and Sturgeon Falls.”

North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) will receive $733,835, Mattawa General Hospital will get $440,000 and the West Nipissing General Hospital will get $221,188.

“This is for some of our operations,” said Gary Jodouin, the Chair of the NBRHC Board of Directors. “We’re looking at our roof, patient safety, fire alarms and the like. Without the funding, it would come out of our capital budget, it’s additional funding that is over and above our normal operating and capital budget.”

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“It takes a lot of pressure off our board,” he continued. “This covers 95 per cent of the planned work.”

“This is a great day,” explained Pierre Noel, the President, and CEO of the Mattawa General Hospital and Algonquin Nursing Home. “This is a really important investment for our small community. We have a relatively new hospital but you have to keep it up. You have to keep it to modern standards and have a safe space for staff.”

“This helps us with an emergency back-up generator that we needed to replace,” Noel continued. “Having back-up power to the hospital and long term care home is important. We’re also creating a negative pressure room that keeps rooms safe from an infection.”

As for the West Nipissing General Hospital, Fedeli says the money will be going to the hospital’s infrastructure.

“They have a plan,” Fedeli said. “They are aware of this money, and it will be pieces of infrastructure inside their hospital.”

As for the concern that this announcement is coming hot on the heels of CUPE saying that the Hospital was shutting down 29 residential addiction treatment beds, Fedeli says these announcements are planned far in advance.

“The false reports by the union continue, and it is really sad that they do that,” Fedeli said. “The community has come together and asked for a plan on mental health and addiction, and the community came together and it will move the dollars from the hospital to the community and that is exactly what they asked for.”

The funding is part of the government’s $175 million announced earlier through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.

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