Construction begins to expand Hamilton General Hospital



    HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - Staff, doctors and volunteers from Hamilton
General Hospital at Hamilton Health Sciences joined Minister of Public
Infrastructure, David Caplan, Ted McMeekin, Minister of Government and
Consumer Services and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and Sophia
Aggelonitis, MPP Hamilton Mountain at a ceremony today to celebrate the
official start of construction of the new regional rehabilitation centre.
    "The McGuinty government is investing more than $5 billion to improve and
expand Ontario's hospital infrastructure," said Caplan. "As this project moves
closer to completion we can take pride in knowing Ontario's health care
infrastructure is among the finest and most innovative in North America."
    The government's investment in Hamilton Health Sciences' Hamilton General
Hospital site will give local residents better access to a wider range of
consolidated rehabilitation services that are very important to everyone in
the community.
    "Today we're celebrating the great future for health care in Hamilton and
across Ontario," said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term
Care, George Smitherman. "Ontarians deserve the very best health care we can
offer and it's therefore exciting for us to move forward with the expansion
and redevelopment of Hamilton Health Sciences' General Hospital site to better
deliver that care to patients in this community."
    The building team led by EllisDon has begun construction which is
expected to be completed in spring 2009. At the peak of construction, there
will be more than 130 workers on site daily.
    "Today we can be confident that the people of Hamilton will have
continued access to great health care for years to come," said McMeekin, "The
redevelopment project will enable Hamilton Health Sciences to deliver better
health care for a broad range of health conditions."
    "This is a very exciting day for our community and all the residents of
surrounding areas who have come to rely on the General Hospital for excellent
care," said Aggelonitis. "We're one step closer to realizing our vision of a
renowned rehabilitation centre."
    The redevelopment project at Hamilton General Hospital will consolidate
the current Acquired Brain Injury and Rehabilitation services from 14
different locations to one site to accommodate an additional 44 beds and more
efficient ambulatory programs.
    A new, three-storey, 100,000 square-foot building will be constructed to
accommodate all ambulatory and outreach services, a therapy pool on the ground
floor and 91 inpatient beds on the two floors above. The new building will be
connected to the main hospital by a bridge to allow staff and patients easy
access to both facilities.
    "We have anticipated this rehabilitation facility for many years," said
Brenda Flaherty, Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations, Hamilton
Health Sciences. "This investment in the future of health care will
tremendously benefit our patients and will make a difference in the quality of
care we provide to our community."
    Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are
working with Hamilton Health Sciences to redevelop the Hamilton General
Hospital, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly
accountable. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to
managing some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal
projects - ensuring they are built on time and on budget.
    This project is guided by principles outlined in the province's Building
a Better Tomorrow framework, which ensures public ownership of core assets
such as hospitals, schools, and water and wastewater facilities.
    Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca for more information.

    Disponible en français




For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minster's Office, Public
Infrastructure Renewal, (416) 325-4048; Infrastructure Ontario, Anne Boody,
(416) 325-2939; Hamilton Health Sciences, Jennifer Kramer, (905) 521-2100,
Ext. 76088


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