Construction Set to Begin on North Bay Regional Health Centre Project



    $56.7 million in Savings Under New Approach

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Construction of the new North Bay Regional
Health Centre (NBRHC) is on track to break ground on March 24, 2007. North Bay
General Hospital and the Northeast Mental Health Centre reached financial
close with Plenary Health to build, finance and maintain the new hospital.
This milestone signals that all the contractual steps have been completed and
construction can now begin.
    Plenary Health will be paid $551 million in today's dollars over
30 years. Just over half of that represents the pure construction cost of the
new 720,000 square foot facility. The remainder is for ongoing building
maintenance, repair and renewal of the hospital throughout the lifetime of the
contract, and project financing. According to a value for money assessment by
PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the NBRHC project demonstrates projected savings of
$56.7 million under the alternative financing and procurement approach
compared to a traditional approach.
    "The final piece of the puzzle is now in place," said MPP Monique Smith.
"We are delighted that our project is going forward. While the number may
appear large, it includes maintenance costs for thirty years and a guarantee
that our hospital will be delivered on time and on budget."
    "This agreement ensures that the hospital is built to the highest
standards and we will have a structure maintained in top condition for the
entire 30-year period of this agreement," said Mark Hurst, North Bay General
Hospital President and CEO. "On behalf of both hospital boards, I want to
thank members of our community, hospital staff, and the government for their
strong commitment and support, which made this project possible. I know
everyone is excited for construction to begin."
    "We have met the challenge of our local share of this project and, as we
have stated in the past, we will not be returning to our municipalities and
donors for additional dollars towards the capital costs of our new health
centre," stated Hurst. "Gathering our local share was a challenging effort and
without the tremendous support of our donors and our surrounding
municipalities would not have been achieved. I urge our donors to continue to
honour their pledges to ensure we meet our campaign totals, which have been
included in our local share financing plan," explained Hurst.
    "Staff at the Northeast Mental Health Centre are looking forward to
strengthening our role as the specialized mental health service provider for
northeastern Ontario in a state of the art mental health facility," says Bob
Cunningham, president and chief executive officer. "We are also excited about
our partnership with the North Bay and District Hospital as co-owners of the
North Bay Regional Health Centre."
    "A tremendous milestone was reached today - a milestone which paves the
way for improved access to health care in North Bay and surrounding
communities," said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal.
"Our government has taken steps to ensure that in addition to providing the
bricks and mortar for the new hospital, there are investments set aside to
maintain and rehabilitate the building properly for 30 years."
    "The new North Bay Regional Health Centre will meet the needs of a
growing population and provide a modern facility for local residents," said
George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "By investing in
hospitals, we are helping to ensure that first class health services are
available to all Ontarians."
    The Plenary Health team consists of Plenary Group, Deutsche Bank AG, PCL
Constructors Canada and Johnson Controls International.
    Infrastructure Ontario will work with the North Bay General Hospital and
the Northeast Mental Health Centre to manage the construction of the North Bay
Regional Health Centre, 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.
    The 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. The North Bay
Regional Health Centre project is one of many infrastructure projects being
constructed, upgraded and modernized under ReNew Ontario, the government's
five-year, $30-billion plus public infrastructure investment plan.

    Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca for more information.



    
                                 BACKGROUNDER

                       North Bay Regional Health Centre
                       --------------------------------

    The North Bay Regional Health Centre is a partnership between the North
Bay General Hospital and the Northeast Mental Health Centre. For the first
time in Canada, an acute hospital and a specialized mental health centre will
co-locate on the same site.
    The North Bay General Hospital (NBGH) and its predecessors have served the
families of North Bay and the surrounding area for over 100 years. The North
Bay General Hospital is a district referral centre serving the districts of
Nipissing and Temiscaming. NBGH's Emergency Department and outpatient clinics
serve more than 40,000 patients every year. Specialist services such as
orthopedics, neonatal intensive care, paediatrics, ophthalmology,
obstetrics/gynaecology, urology, ENT (ear, nose and throat) and general
surgery are provided for patients from throughout the entire district served.
    The Northeast Mental Health Centre (NEMHC) is a specialized mental health
centre that provides service to people throughout the region of northeast
Ontario suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. Based on a
recovery approach, NEMHC works with other service providers and patients and
their families in the design and implementation of care. Programs include
specialized adult mental health, senior's mental health, forensic psychiatry,
outreach programs and a regional children's psychiatric service.
    As a three-storey general hospital, the new NBGH's redevelopment will be
significantly larger and equipped to offer more services than the present
two-site operation. The Northeast Mental Health Centre has been designed as a
two-storey facility that will provide a best-practice approach to care in a
home-like, village environment. One of the largest public sector projects in
the region's history, the NBRHC will total 720,000 square feet of new
construction on an 80-acre site.

    The New North Bay General Hospital includes:
    -  a larger emergency department with 32 treatment beds to accommodate
       more than 57,000 patients per year
    -  a new consolidated ambulatory care centre to accommodate more than
       63,000 patient visits per year
    -  275 acute care beds with:
       -  a 40-bed mental health unit relocated from the Northeast Mental
          Health Centre
       -  an increased bed capacity in the Critical Care Unit (from 10 to 16
          beds), in the Complex Continuing Care Unit (from 10 to 42 beds),
          and in the Rehabilitation Care unit (from 10 to 29 beds)

    The New Northeast Mental Health Centre
    The new Northeast Mental Health Centre will be linked to the general
hospital via a shared entrance and several shared common areas. It will serve
the whole of northeast Ontario, and accommodate:
    -  52 forensic psychiatry beds
    -  61 specialized mental health beds
    -  a client services mall, gymnasium, workshops, psychiatric offices,
       clinical and administrative spaces
    -  outreach services
    

    Design features provide a healing atmosphere throughout the facility with
lots of natural light provided by windows that overlook the natural
environmental setting of the 80-acre site. The North Bay Regional Health
Centre will have a total of 388 beds.
    Over North Bay Regional Health Centre's three-year construction period,
there will be an average of 200 workers on site daily.

    Disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, Public
Infrastructure Renewal, (416) 325-4048; Doug DeRabbie, Infrastructure Ontario,
(416) 326-1006; Pat Stephens, North Bay Regional Health Centre, (705)
495-8127


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