Ontario Investing $9.8 Million in Planning for a New Hospital for Windsor-Essex
Government improving access to care for local patients and families
October 18, 2021
WINDSOR — The Ontario government is investing $9.8 million to support planning for a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital in Windsor and Essex County. Once complete, the new hospital will add more hospital beds and expand services for the region to ensure individuals and families living in the region have access to high-quality care when and where they need it.
“Our government is providing access to world class health care, wherever you live in Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “The people of Windsor-Essex have waited too long for a new hospital that suits the needs of this growing community. This new hospital means they can get the care they need, closer to home.”
Currently, Windsor Regional Hospital operates two separate acute care campuses in the City of Windsor. Once complete, the new hospital will consolidate and expand acute care services, replacing outdated infrastructure with high tech facilities and supporting better, connected care in the region. Planned services will include cancer care, complex trauma, obstetrics, neurology and cardiology. The new hospital will also have more single-patient rooms to increase patient privacy and prevent the spread of infection. Urgent care and outpatient services will remain at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette site to preserve access for patients and their families in downtown Windsor.
“Investing in hospital infrastructure projects like the new acute care hospital in Windsor is a key part of our government’s plan to build a modern and connected health care system and end hallway health care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment for this new acute care hospital will provide better access to care closer to home for patients and families in Windsor and Essex County, and the infrastructure and tools our health care workers need to continue delivering exceptional care.”
As part of the planning for the new hospital, approximately 68 acute mental health beds are expected to be transferred to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare to improve mental health and addictions services and programs for the people in the area. These beds will support a new Centre of Excellence in Mental Health and Addictions for the region, making it easier for patients to receive mental health and addiction services in one location.
“We have been hard at work filling urgent gaps in care and addressing the extensive wait times for services across Ontario’s mental health and addictions system,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “At the new Centre of Mental Health Excellence, clients will be able to access effective and safe services through a single-entry point, making it easier to receive the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”
In addition, the Ontario government is taking further action to support high-quality health care in Windsor and Essex County by increasing the operating funding in both hospitals for the third straight year. Windsor Regional Hospital will receive over $7.8 million in additional operating funding starting this year, representing an increase of 2.2 per cent, and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare received $1.57 million, representing an increase of 2.1 per cent. The government is also providing Windsor Regional Hospital with $847,800 to support an additional 2,530 MRI, and 760 CT operating hours as part of Ontario’s comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need.
The 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, outlined a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments for hospitals in 2021-22. This includes an increase of $778 million in funding to meet current and future demands for services, and ensures all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.
- Windsor Regional Hospital serves as the regional tertiary provider of advanced care in complex traumas, dialysis, cardiac care, stroke and neurosurgery, intensive care, acute mental health, family birthing, neonatal intensive care, pediatric services, regional cancer services and a broad range of medical and surgical services.
- Last year, Windsor Regional Hospital received up to 32 temporary hospital beds to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times as part of the government’s investment of $351 million to help build additional capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, earlier this year, Windsor Regional Hospital also received support for six additional ICU beds as part of an investment of up to $125 million to support hospital capacity in areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission.
- Windsor Regional Hospital also received $2.2 million in one-time surgical support funding from the government to support the hospital’s ability to operate on evenings and weekends and catch up on surgeries in between waves of the pandemic. This funding helped the hospital complete over 70 per cent of their targeted surgical allocation in 2020-21.
- As part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, in 2021-22 the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario’s hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, including on evenings and weekends.
- Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare serves as the regional provider of tertiary mental health care, a range of community based mental health programs inclusive of the downtown Windsor Crisis and Mental Wellness centre which houses the urgent assessment centre for mental health and addiction, and is the lead agency for child and youth mental health for the region. The hospital also provides the region’s rehabilitative care, palliative care and complex continuing care.
- In 2021-22, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare received $2.1 million to improve infrastructure for the Problem Gambling Program, a capital renovation which will see this provincial program in up to date facilities at the Tayfour Campus.
- The government is investing more than $22 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years for health infrastructure projects across Ontario that will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure.
“This investment will create thousands of well-paying and rewarding jobs with pensions and benefits for healthcare workers and tradespeople in Windsor-Essex and across Southwestern Ontario. We’re on a mission to spread opportunity more widely and fairly. By giving more people a hand up, they can earn bigger paycheques, strengthen their families and build back a better Ontario.”
– Monte McNaughton
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
“This announcement ensures funding to support Stage-2 planning for our new state-of-the-art acute care hospital and propels us forward to transform hospital care in Windsor-Essex for generations to come. We are extremely grateful to Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott for recognizing the urgent need and unwavering support for this project and responding with this unprecedented commitment to modern healthcare infrastructure in Windsor-Essex.”
– David Musyj
President & Chief Executive Officer, Windsor Regional Hospital
“We are absolutely delighted with the announcement today that moves us a major step forward in the creation of the Centre of Excellence for Mental Health and Addictions. Over the past 7 years the team at HDGH has worked tirelessly with community partners, notably CMHA, to improve access to mental health and addictions services. With the support of this government we will ensure that state of the art mental health care will continue to be available for our community into the future. The past year and a half has shown us all the importance of coordinated and streamlined access to services that are available when and where needed. Our thanks to Premier Ford, Deputy Premier Elliott and special thanks to Associate Minister Tibollo for his tireless efforts on behalf of all Ontarians who are living with a mental health or substance use disorder. We are grateful.”
– Janice Kaffer
President & Chief Executive Officer, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
“Our region has demonstrated unity and perseverance in advocating for the health care investments that we deserve and today, Premier Ford and his Government have delivered for Windsor-Essex. This funding will ensure that planning and design for the new acute care hospital can proceed and our region can expect modern health care infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing community.”
– Drew Dilkens
Mayor, City of Windsor