On Thursday morning, Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott joined MPP David Piccini to announce new funding for Northumberland Hills Hospital. As well as incremental funding to help with the Covid-19 crisis, they also said that increases announced last year would be annualized providing a much needed stability in funding. Premier Ford said that “Previous governments have ignored rural hospitals – but we are not ignoring them”. Ford also described MPP Piccini as being very persistent in asking for funding in his Riding – and it has paid off. Northumberland Hills Hospital CEO Linda Davis said that the Hospital was “grateful to the Government for listening.” As you can see from the photos below, the announcement was outside (in the heat) with everyone wearing a mask except while actually speaking.
Premier Ford prefaced his remarks with a word of thanks to front-line workers calling them “the true heroes”. He also thanked the leadership of the Hospitals – Campbellford Hospital was also the recipient of extra funds. Ford made a point of complimenting MPP Piccini for doing a great job getting funding for his area. David responded that the Government is “listening”. Campbellford Hospital CEO Varouj Eskedjian commented that previously, rural Hospitals were “barely surviving”.
Northumberland Hills Hospital will receive $5,619,800 in total additional funding for fiscal year 2020/2021 to meet current and future demands for regular services. Overall Northumberland Hills Hospital will receive a 10.8% increase in funding for 2020/2021. Last year, MPP Piccini announced $3.8 million in additional funding, which is now being annualized.
Minister Elliott said that: “Our government is working with our hospital partners to fix the long-standing issues that disadvantaged funding for small and medium sized hospitals ….. That’s why we’ve annualized last year’s historic investment of $68 million for small and medium sized hospitals to provide continued financial relief to hospitals in Ontario and ensure patients can access the care they need no matter where they live.”