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Ontario budget earmarks funding to upgrade, expand Kingston General Hospital

Click to play video: 'Ontario budget earmarks funding to upgrade, expand Kingston General Hospital' Ontario budget earmarks funding to upgrade, expand Kingston General Hospital
WATCH: Ontario's newly-released budget outlines massive funding for hospitals across the province, including major projects at Kingston General Hospital – Mar 25, 2021

The Ford government released its 2021 budget Wednesday evening, which outlined a number of communities that would be receiving funding for their health-care sector.

The province is planning a massive investment of $30.2 billion over the next ten years to upgrade and expand on hospital infrastructure in Ontario.

Kingston made the list and is expecting a large influx of funding for some much-needed improvements.

“We’re just continuing with the commitment for the redevelopment at Kingston Health Sciences Centre,” says Todd Smith, MPP for the Bay of Quinte riding.

“We know that some of those buildings are 180 years old I believe, and there’s a redevelopment that needs to take place there.”

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Details surrounding the funding and the construction process are still yet to be determined, but the majority of the funding is likely being put toward a new eight-storey tower that will be built right in the middle of the hospital.

The new wing will feature 80 inpatient beds, along with new operating rooms, clinical labs, neonatal intensive care, and labour and delivery rooms.

“It also does add capacity with two floors of medical surgical-type beds, so we’re investing for the future,” says Dr. David Pichora, CEO and president of Kingston Health Sciences.

“There will also be some vacant space that will allow further redevelopment down the road.”

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Plans involving this expansion and redevelopment date well before the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospital officials say this project will be a long, arduous process that will take many phases of construction to complete. There is no official price on the entirety of the project just yet, but it is likely to be very high.

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“We won’t know for sure until the official bids come in,” says Pichora.

“The last time I checked, it’s listed in the $500 million and $1 billion category.”

Read more: The Minister of Health announces support for a new hospital in Picton

Kingston isn’t the only city in the region that will be receiving funding from the province. Prince Edward County, Todd Smith’s riding, will be granted money to build a new hospital in Picton.

The new hospital will be built on the same site as the current one, which dates back to the 1950s.

“The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in Picton is also going to be impacted by funding in the budget,” says Smith.

The new Picton hospital has plans for at least 18 inpatient beds, along with surgical and imaging suites. It’s expected to carry a price tag of more than $100 million.

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